Eastern Desert Exploration (“EDX”)
The EDX Blocks, comprise 3,000km2 of greenfield exploration tenements within the Egyptian section of the Arabian Nubian Shield.
This area has not been explored in the modern era using current exploration methods and represents a significant land package of highly prospective but underexplored geological terrane. The land package is divided into 3 Blocks:
- Nugrus Block (1,086km2) - surrounding the Sukari Mining Concession targeting potential satellite deposits and low capex mill feed to the Sukari processing plant.
- Um Rus Block (524km2) - located 50km north of Sukari, exploring for a potential standalone operation.
- Najd Block (1,374km2) - located 100km northwest of Sukari in the Central Eastern Desert, exploring for a potential standalone operation.
MODEL MINING EXPLOITATION AGREEMENT
In July 2023 Centamin agreed the framework for the model mining exploitation agreement (“MMEA”) in principle with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority. The MMEA sets out the legal and fiscal framework that will apply to commercial discoveries made on the EDX blocks.
|(To be ratified by Special Law)
30 years with fiscal and legal stability
5% net smelter royalty on revenue paid to the Government
22.5% corporate tax rate
15% government financial net profit interest (on post tax income)
0.5% community development contribution
Life of mine commitments towards local employment, training and procurement
The MMEA sets out the legal and fiscal framework that will apply to commercial discoveries made on the EDX blocks. The MMEA terms are comparable to other jurisdictions with international, modern mining codes and do not apply to the 160km2 Sukari Gold Mine mining concession, which operates independently under the Sukari Concession Agreement.
Based on remote sensing studies – mapping of artisanal mining sites, the interpretation of satellite imagery and mineral mapping techniques - all three blocks of ground are known to be highly prospective.
A maiden 16,000 metre exploration drilling programme completed in H2 2023 on the Nugrus block, adjacent to the Sukari Mining Concession. The programme focussed on eight priority targets identified from systematic generative exploration. From that programme, two key prospects emerged.
Little Sukari prospect (28km west of the Sukari Gold Mine)
- The Little Sukari prospect returned the most encouraging results of the programme. Zones of consistent mineralisation up to 30-60 metres wide occur over a strike length of at least 250 metres and extend at least 230 metres downdip to a vertical depth of approximately 200 metres below surface. Mineralisation remains open at depth.
- Little Sukari derives its name from its geological and geochemical resemblance to the Sukari deposit, with mineralisation developed in a geochemically distinct granodioritic intrusive, emplaced in a shear zone that is developed within an ophiolitic “melange” succession like the wider host sequence at Sukari.
- Significant drill intercepts include:
46m at 3.3 grams per tonne of gold (“g/t Au”) from 91m downhole
77m at 1.84 g/t Au from 44m
69m at 2.01 g/t Au from 81m
46m at 2.14 g/t Au from 116m
29m at 2.71 g/t Au from 2m
Umm Majal prospect (23km west of Sukari Gold Mine):
- The Umm Majal prospect is located 5 km southeast of Little Sukari. The mineralisation is hosted in an altered granitoid that appears to be distinct from the host rocks at Little Sukari, but occurs within a similar ophiolitic-melange sequence. Mineralisation occurs over a strike length of 200-250 metres and the mineralised zone is up to 20 metres wide. Initial shallow drill testing has demonstrated mineralisation up to 30-40 metres below surface. No deep holes were drilled to test continuity at greater depths and the mineralisation remains open downdip.
- Significant drill intercepts include:
18m at 2.33 g/t Au from 21m
15m at 1.46 g/t Au from 4m
8m at 2.67 g/t Au from 2m
5m at 16.20 g/t Au from 44m
2024 Exploration programme
- Detailed geological mapping and ground geophysical (IP and magnetics) surveys to be carried out over the Nugrus prospects, Little Sukari and Umm Majal, in H1 2024.
- Up to 15,000 metres of RC and diamond core drilling budgeted for follow up drill testing at Little Sukari and Umm Majal, alongside preliminary metallurgical testing, a conceptual resource estimate and optimisation study to steer ongoing drilling. This programme may be expanded to include first pass drill testing of potential new Nugrus targets generated through ongoing exploration fieldwork.
- Results-driven exploration programme on the Um Rus block to be determined after receipt of the soil geochemistry results, expected in H1 2024.
- Bulk leach extractable gold (“BLEG”) drainage sampling programme commenced on the Najd block in late December 2023 and will be ongoing throughout H1 2024.