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Akobo in Ethiopia is WhyAfrica’s Pick of the Week

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Trenches at Akobo Minerals’ Segele gold project in Ethiopia. Image credit: Akobo Minerals

Akobo in Ethiopia is WhyAfrica’s Pick of the Week

Come rain or shine Norwegian based gold exploration company Akobo Minerals is pushing ahead with the development of its Segele and Joru projects in the Gambela region and Dima district of southwest Ethiopia.

By Leon Louw owner and editor at WhyAfrica  

Akobo has released exceptionally high-grade gold results at both key targets (Segele and Joru) and has increased the pace of core drilling significantly.

Last week, Akobo announced the completion of a brand-new airstrip at Dima, which the company funded and built to not only accommodate the fast pace of development of the gold mining projects but also to benefit the local communities in the region.

Three days ago, the first flight ever flight landed on the new airstrip amidst cheers from the local population. The Super King Air 350 twin-turboprop aircraft carried representatives from Akobo Minerals and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority on the inaugural flight.

Completed in just over two months, the 1100-metre-long airstrip lies only a couple of kilometres from Akobo Minerals’ mining operation and can accommodate aircraft carrying up to 40 passengers.

According to Jørgen Evjen, CEO of Akobo Minerals, it will allow the company to bring in goods and personnel more effectively, allow for any medical evacuation and, not least, provide a secure transportation route of gold to Addis Ababa prior to onward distribution to international buyers once gold production commences in a few months. Until now, the nearest airstrip has been in Jima, at least a six-hour journey by road.

“The opening of our own airstrip is an important landmark for the company and is a clear indication of our capabilities when it comes to major engineering projects,” says Evjen.

“The airstrip is also a significant part of our ongoing Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) program as it will also mean access for the local community to important services that the region has never seen before – from a reduction in travel times to access to deliveries of goods and emergency medical assistance. I’m sure that the landing of this aircraft will be remembered for many years to come as it marks a huge milestone for the opportunities now available to the local population,” adds Evjen.

Akobo has made substantial progress at both drilling projects. “Exploration drilling activity at Segele, which hit some bonanza grades in 2020, has so far shown outstanding high-grade gold results, achieving an inferred mineral resource of 78 kilotons at 20.9g/t gold, equal to 52.410 oz of gold,” Evjen recently told the Mine Magazine during an interview. “Further drilling has intersected excellent mineralisation below this area, while we also expect more to be found when we explore deeper still.”

Segele and Joru offer different types of benefits, with the Segele deposit boasting a much higher grade of gold, while the total ore reserves of the Joru deposit are believed to be larger, high-potential deposits that can be approached in different manners.

“Following positive initial findings based on trenching and RC drilling results, we have been concentrating our Joru efforts on the central – and, so far known, highest – grade part of the mineralisation, with a program of core drilling,” says Evjen. The company hopes to be able to establish a resource base of more than one million ounces of gold in Joru.

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. WhyAfrica specialises in African affairs and natural resources. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021. The company will undertake a road trip in June and July 2022. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.       

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