SUNBIZ

Kalo Gold Identifies 3 Sites In Vanua Levu

A newly listed mineral exploration company on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange, Kalo Gold is focused on the Vatu Aurum gold project located outside Labasa to Udu Point.
19 Sep 2021 15:13
Kalo Gold Identifies 3 Sites In Vanua Levu
Source: Kalo Gold.

Kalo Gold has identified three new drill sites on Vanua Levu.

A newly listed mineral exploration company on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange, Kalo Gold is focused on the Vatu Aurum gold project located outside Labasa to Udu Point.

The three new targets in the Qiriyaga Zone have not been drill tested but they indicate the possible presence of mineralised bodies beyond Qiriyaga Hill and Vuinubu Ridge deposit areas.

Chief executive officer, Fred Tejada, said regional exploration continued to identify additional high-priority targets, with soil geochemical sampling in the Coqeloa prospect defining several gold anomalies coinciding with high gold values in rock samples of up to 9.02 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au).

“Our next several steps will be to re-target our drilling on these new discovery sites.

The vast majority of these targets have never been drill tested or they occur beyond the limits of historical drilling. We will design an exploration program to showcase the potential of a large gold system at the Vatu Aurum Project.

Another gold mine? 

The Vatu Aurum gold project comprises two mineral exploration licenses covering approximately 36,700 hectares of land.

“It is on trend with many of the largest gold deposits in the world in the Southwest Pacific Ring of Fire,” Mr Tejada told SunBiz.

When asked about Kalo Gold’s prospects of opening a gold mine in Vanua Levu, Mr Tejada said the company had a lot of options on its hands, once it built up a sizable resource, and evaluated the economics of the Vatu Aurum project.

“The establishment of another significant mining operation in Fiji will be great for the local workforce and economy,” he said.

“The near-term objectives for Kalo Gold would be to expand on the current exploration program at Vatu Aurum, continue to confirm the extent of mineralization at Qiriyaga Zone and evaluate the potential size of this discovery.”

Background 

The main targets at Vatu Aurum are Qiriyaga Hill and nearby Vuinubu Ridge.

“The Vatu Aurum project exhibits an epithermal gold mineralisation style,” Mr Tejada said.

Historical work includes 9479 metres of diamond drilling, 50 per cent was carried out by Placer Pacific which concentrated in the resource area at Qiriyaga Hill, he said.

The Vatu Aurum Project has 14 other prospects, Mr Tejada said.

Prior to listing Kalo Gold on the TSX Venture Exchange, Kalo Gold has operated in Fiji for 11 years, Mr Tejada said.

COVID-19 challenges

While the mineral exploration company has not received COVID-19 cases on site, the global pandemic has affected operations, Mr Tejada said.

“Fiji has been under COVID-19 inter-island travel restrictions since mid-April, 2021.”

Drilling in Qiriyaga Hill and Vuinubu Ridge will resume when restrictions on inter-island travels are lifted to allow the company’s drillers to return to site, he said.

“Meanwhile, the company will continue with the review of surface and core geology and mapping of other prospects,” Mr Tejada said.

The company has implemented additional safety controls to ensure the health and safety of all employees, contractors and communities.

Leadership 

Mr Tejada has worked for many years with Michael Nesbitt, Kalo Gold’s senior in-country manager, and a co-founder of the Vatu Aurum Project.

“Michael continues as our senior in-country manager, and nurtures our relationships with both Government, local community and workforce,” Mr Tejada said.

“I am a professional geologist with more than 35 years of international mining and exploration experience with both major and junior companies.

“I am a collaborative person where I prefer to operate an integrated, close-knit team,” Mr Tejada said.

“Mineral exploration is scientific, so we integrate our technical team with capital markets, finance andoperations to ensure we are alway seeing the big picture.

“This helps us to stay focused and provides strategic direction.”

Mr Tejada has yet to travel to Fiji.

“Our team at Kalo Gold looked into the public transaction during the global pandemic last year in 2020,”he said.

“As soon as travel restrictions are lifted, and COVID-19 cases are reduced to a manageable level globally, I will be visiting our project.”

FRED TEJADA’S PAST EXPERIENCE 

  • Former country manager for Phelps Dodge Exploration Corp 
  • Former vice president, Exploration of Panoro Minerals Ltd., and 
  • Operations and exploration of Tirex Resources Ltd. 
  • Continue to serve on the boards of several Canadian junior mining companies

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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