Turnkey Exploration Program


In 2014 BMR geologist was contracted by the Ministère des Mines, de l’Industrie et du Tourisme (now Ministère de l’Equipement, des Infrastructures et des Mines) in Gabon to undertake a modern exploration programme to evaluate the Belinga iron ore deposit in northwest Gabon. The deposit has been known about for over 50 years, but its extremely remote location, low iron ore prices, and more recent commercial JV disagreements have prevented development and exploitation. Historic reports have claimed resources that are not compliant with modern reporting standards but give an indication of the potential size of the deposits, of more than 400 Mt at over 60% Fe. These resources included only 6 of the 10 historically named prospects along the 25 km long ridge of Archaean banded iron formation (BIF).

To support new geological work at Belinga SRK first refurbished the overgrown, dilapidated old exploration camp to provide accommodation and messing facilities with power and potable water. At its busiest, the camp comfortably housed almost 100 staff, the vast majority, including labour, cooks, drivers, geologists, and administrators, were Gabonese nationals from the villages surrounding the project and the Capital, Libreville.

Geological and regolith mapping, ground magnetic, and resistivity surveys were all completed by SRK over the 10 prospects. An integrated interpretation of new and limited available historic data allowed a resource drilling programme to be designed for the Babiel North prospect and exploratory/scout drilling for other prioritised targets.

A 420 sq.km high-resolution LiDAR survey was also contracted to provide a digital terrain model (DTM) that was corrected to show the topography below dense forest vegetation. This dataset helped not only with geological interpretation, but clearly identified historic access tracks that were often hard to spot on the ground due to thick secondary vegetation growth.

SRK was preparing to manage the next phase of resource drilling that would twin historic holes and provide a modern mineral resource estimate reported to internationally accepted standards. Unfortunately, the project again stalled due to financial constraints and was put on care and maintenance by the Government of Gabon.

SRK is convinced of the potential for this deposit to one day be developed and exploited, bringing much needed income to this region of Gabon. When that day comes, SRK will again be ready and willing to get back in the field.