As in the diamond industry, the CAR’s gold production is produced by artisinal mining activities. Official production is estimated to be about 100 kg, but estimates are that actual production is around 2 tons a year. Gold production is derived almost entirely from alluvial operations. The CAR has two greenstone belts (the Bandas and Bogoin Boali belts) exposed which have attracted most of the artisinal activity, producing around 1t gold /year.

Asquith Resources has an advanced gold exploration program in the Bandas Greenstone belt, north of the capital, Bangui. Asquith also is continuing work on the Roandji gold property, which has identified a 90 km strike length of virtually unexplored greenstone belt, which has historically produced around 1.75t of alluvial gold over the last twenty years. A more defined zone of some 5km strike has been identified hosted within a banded iron formation with grades up to 4.8 g/ton. Drilling has intersected fresh sulphides below the iron formation.

Exploration at the Passandro Project Area has delineated seven substantial gold targets within a 5 km radius including the Main Zone and French Camp prospects where gold-bearing structures of economic significance have been identified by reverse circulation (RC) drilling. In the Main Zone, some 7,000 m of RC drilling has delineated 1.6 km of continuous mineralisation open at depth and along strike. There are multiple parallel gold zones over a 100-300 m wide corridor with widths of 2-15 m and an average composite grade of 2.9 g/t Au.

At the Ngodo prospect, 2 km northwest of French Camp, 29 RAB holes drilled on two lines to test a 1.2 km soil anomaly identified a 20-40 m wide gold halo. At the Ngetepe prospect, 1.2 km southeast of French Camp, 18 RAB holes drilled on two lines testing an 800 m soil anomaly identified a 20-40 m wide gold halo.

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Shaun Bakamoso

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