Birimian exposures, including three greenstone belts are located in the Liptako region in the western parts of the country near the borders with Burkino Faso and Mali. Greenstone belts include the Gorouol/Kourki belt in the northwest of the Liptako area, the Sirba Belt was west of Niamey, and the Tera Gassa Belt between the Gorouol and the Sirba greenstone belts.
As a result the entire Liptako region is being explored for gold. Approximately 20 000 artisinal workers are active in the area, producing an estimated 1000 kg/year. In October 2004 Etruscan Resources Inc. and Semafo Inc. jointly announced the official opening of the Samira Hill Gold Mine in Niger. The Samira Hill Gold Mine is scheduled to produce 618,000 ounces of gold in its 6.3 years of operation. The Samira Hill Gold Mine represents the first commercial gold production for the country. The Mine is 40% owned by Etruscan, 40% by Semafo with 20% held by the State of Niger. Etruscan Resources stated that the Samira Hill deposit is believed to be one of a number of significant gold deposits within what is now recognized as an emerging gold belt known as the “Samira Horizon”. By constructing a central processing facility at Samira Hill, future exploration will target the development of satellite gold deposits within trucking distance of the mill, along the 50 kilometer long gold bearing Samira Horizon.
During 2004 St. Jude Resources Ltd. Commenced its phase one gold exploration program on the company’s 90% owned Deba and Tialkam permits in Niger. Phase one of the program will include up to 10,000 meters of rotary air blast drilling to test numerous gold targets that have been established by a combination of significant geochem data, previous trenching and drilling, as well as extensive artisanal gold mining activity. The permits are located along a gold mineralization corridor that has been established over a length of 150 kilometres. The Deba and Tialkam permits cover 90 kilometers of this corridor with areas of 742 km2 and 1100 km2 respectively.
Other potential gold deposits include the Koma Bangou deposit that was originally discovered by ONAREM (the state owned mining company) in 1985. Etruscan subsequently joined up with ONAREM and carried out feasibility studies on the property, defining a reserve of 315 000oz, which was considered unfeasible under current circumstances. GeoAfrica Gold has obtained significant ground holdings close to the Algerian border near the Air Massif. Significant potential exists in this region for the discovery of gold and base metal targets.
Akouta, Anou-Aaren, Arlit, Koma Bangou, Samira Hill, Taza
Etruscan Resources Inc
Semafo have a 50% interest in the Samira Hill Gold mine in Niger.