Reunion Gold Corporation
TSX VENTURE : RGD

Reunion Gold Corporation

February 23, 2012 11:08 ET

Reunion Gold Provides an Update on Exploration at Matthews Ridge; Drilling Confirms Vertical Continuity of Manganese Mineralization and New Discovery Expands Resource Potential

LONGUEUIL, CANADA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2012) - Reunion Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:RGD) ("Reunion or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on exploration at its Matthews Ridge manganese project in Guyana, South America.

Highlights

  • Drilling program has confirmed the strike extent and vertical continuity of significant manganese mineralization in four target hills of the Matthews Ridge Project
  • Widespread mantle-type mineralization in the weathered profile confirms the supergene enrichment of host rocks, amenable to simple earth-moving extraction
  • Two new manganese occurrences with strike lengths of 300 to 400 m were discovered 2 km north of the former Matthews Ridge manganese mine area and initial trenching at the westernmost discovery occurrence indicates multiple manganese beds

Project description

The Matthews Ridge Project is located in northwest Guyana, in and around the former Matthews Ridge and Pipiani mines, 260 km northwest of Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana. Manganese ore was mined from 1960 to 1968 by Union Carbide and exported via a railroad and a fluvial port. Mining was done on five of a series of nine hills extending for 12 km and striking northeastern-southwestern (Figure 1). The manganese-bearing sequence is known to have an overall strike extent of 40 km and remains largely unexplored.

Manganese mineralization is hosted by the Barama sedimentary sequence of Proterozoic age and consists of typical mantle and residual deposits formed as a result of oxidation and supergene enrichment under an equatorial climate. The mantle deposits are formed by manganese oxide minerals occurring along the crest of hills and are related to the weathered profile reaching 120 m below surface. Typical manganese minerals are cryptomelane, pyrolusite and psilomelane, forming bands of varying thickness. Easily extractable detrital material is developed along the slopes of hills and consists of loose manganese concretions as colluvium.

In late 2010, the Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Reunion Manganese Inc., obtained four exploration licenses covering an area of 45,729 acres and embarked on an aggressive exploration program consisting of mechanized trenching, diamond drilling and ground geophysics with the objective to delineate a NI 43-101 compliant resource.

Matthews Ridge Exploration Update

To the end of 2011, a total of 126 trenches with 12,429 meters were excavated on Hills 1 to 9. All trenches show manganese intersections, indicating a potential strike length of approximately 15 km. Diamond drilling progressed with seven rigs in operation up to the end of 2011, completing a total of 33,886 meters in 498 shallow holes, including 64 holes (approximately 4,000 m) re-drilled as a result of poor core recovery.

The trenching and drilling programs completed to the end of 2011 were designed both to evaluate the previously mined areas and to define the extent and characteristics of known but unexplored mineralized zones. While trenches allowed surface sampling and provided good structural information, the drilling program demonstrates the continuity of manganiferous bodies at depth and their geometry. Drilling used HQ-diameter core to the saprolite-fresh rock interface.

Reunion has to date received assay results from 56 drill holes, of which eleven were released in 2011. Highlights of significant assay results from four target hills are presented in Table 1 below, while complete results are shown in the Appendix. Figure 1 below shows the distribution of these holes among the various target hills.

Drilling results to date indicate an excellent correlation with trench intersections, confirming that the so-called mantle mineralization persists regularly in the saprolite zone and continues as proto-ore in the fresh rock. The Company intends to define resources only in the saprolitic material, which contains the mineralization enriched by supergene processes and is amenable to simple earth-moving extraction.

A map (Matthews Ridge Project) is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Map_Reunion_0223.pdf

Matthews Ridge Project
Table 1: DDH intersections - Highlights
Hole From (m) To (m) Interval (m) % Mn Target Hill
11MR0053A - 15,50 15,50 21,26 5C
21,50 27,50 6,00 10,04
11MR0061 23,45 31,50 8,05 13,49 5C
11MR0062A 42,50 60,50 18,00 18,27 5C
11MR0063A 44,00 54,50 10,50 10,92 5C
11MR0066 - 13,50 13,50 15,41 5C
11MR0070A - 12,50 12,50 14,47 5C
15,50 36,50 21,00 11,50
11MR0071A 17,00 33,50 16,50 14,36 5C
36,50 63,50 27,00 12,55
11MR0073A 27,50 57,50 30,00 9,33 5C
11MR0074A 33,50 56,00 22,50 16,17 5C
11MR0084A 51,50 68,00 16,50 9,86 5C
11MR0085A 17,00 29,00 12,00 17,24 5C
11MR0093A - 14,50 14,50 22,94 5C
36,50 48,50 12,00 10,32
11MR0094A - 23,00 23,00 20,40 5C
11MR0096A 45,50 68,00 22,50 9,08 6C
11MR0125A 10,00 24,00 14,00 21,29 5W
29,50 37,50 8,00 19,59
11MR0088A 21,50 39,50 18,00 18,94 5
11MR0090A 39,50 56,00 16,50 20,45 5
11MR0131A 18,00 39,00 21,00 22,15 6
11MR0133A 48,00 60,00 12,00 16,16 6
66,00 76,50 10,50 9,94
11MR0149 - 15,00 15,00 10,53 6
11MR0150 - 11,00 11,00 9,92 6
11MR1048 83,70 111,90 28,20 10,49 7
113,50 119,20 5,70 14,18
11MR1050 31,20 42,90 11,70 12,97 7
11MR0024 - 15,00 15,00 10,53 9W
11MR0025 - 30,00 30,00 15,26 9W
11MR0030 - 7,50 7,50 12,48 9W
- 15,00 15,00 20,94
11MR0033 6,00 16,50 10,50 16,30 9W
11MR0040 - 16,51 16,51 11,55 9W
11MR0042 37,50 49,50 12,00 14,26 9W
Notes: Minimum intersection: 5 m; cut-off grade: 9% Mn; maximum interval dilution: 1.5 m

During December 2011 and January 2012, Reunion conducted a major geological data review, which defined the exploration program for 2012. Drilling resumed on February 1, 2012, using four diamond drill rigs and one reverse circulation drill. The Company's plan is to close the drill spacing between Hill 5 to Hill 9 to 50 m centers in the second quarter 2012 and complete a geological modeling and resource estimate by mid-year. Drilling of hills 1 to 4 is also ongoing and should be completed using the diamond drills and RC rig to this same spacing by mid-year.

New discovery - The Northern Prospect

Reconnaissance exploration in 2012 of a target area named the Northern Prospect, located immediately to the north of the former Matthews Ridge mine area (Figure 1), discovered the presence of two potentially significant zones of massive manganese beds, each with a minimum strike length of 300 to 400 m. Full strike continuity is yet to be ascertained. The two discoveries coincide with a 1.5 by 2 km manganese soil anomaly with values in excess of 5,000 ppm Mn and peaks of up to 38,600 ppm Mn.

Five trenches dug and sampled across the easterly-striking westernmost zone revealed multiple manganese beds with thicknesses varying from 10 to 30 m. Trenching and sampling of the second zone 1 km to the northeast of the Northern Prospect has started.

Initial assay results from trenches in the westernmost zone are very encouraging and show manganese values comparable to those obtained from trenches in areas previously mined. Table 2 below shows highlights of channel samples taken from four of the trenches. Reunion will follow up these encouraging initial results with a program of IP geophysics, further trenching and drilling over coming months.

Matthews Ridge Project
Table 2: Northern Prospect Discovery Trench Results Highlights
Trench No. From (m) To (m) Interval (m) Mn %
02NP 119 132 13 20.10
02NP 134 146 12 17.99
02NP 147 151 4 12.67
02NP 204 217 13 13.45
02NP 236 240 4 10.15
04NP 5 10 5 14.78
04NP 40 43 3 29.89
06NP 10 32 22 23.61
07NP 7 15 8 17.13
Notes: Minimum intersection: 3 m; cut-off grade: 10% Mn; maximum interval dilution: 1 m

The Company is also currently putting in access to the Pipiani area, where a historical (non NI 43-101 compliant) resource exists from the previous operator. Reunion intends to initiate a work program at Pipiani with the objective of confirming the existence of the resource in compliance with NI 43-101 and extend any resources identified.

Assaying

In early 2011, Reunion made the decision to establish a dedicated laboratory facility at Matthews Ridge, to be independently managed by FILAB Suriname BV. This decision resulted from experiencing long assay turn-around times in the early stage of the program as well as excessive costs and time in shipping samples from Guyana to laboratories located in Canada. The establishment of this on-site laboratory faced several logistical hurdles and only became operational in early February 2012, six months later than originally planned. The on-site laboratory is now able to perform sample preparation (drying, crushing and pulverization) and has functional XRF and ICP assay facilities.

The delay in the start-up of the on-site laboratory has resulted in a backlog of approximately 12,000 samples. These are now being dealt with the use of three accredited laboratories present in Guyana: Actlabs, ACME and FILAB (on site). The Company expects to receive results on a systematic basis from now on and to release them regularly.

Ore characterization and metallurgy

Ore characterization test work was conducted by SGS Lakefield in Canada on twenty two trench and core samples from Matthews Ridge Hills 5 and 9. The samples have also been subject to sink-float testing. Results are consistent with jigging test results done by Bateman Engineering of South Africa (previously reported), which concluded that concentrates with acceptable high grades could be upgraded to produce a saleable product at acceptable yields. A further refining study has been recommended as well as pilot testing.

Engineering and infrastructure

In order to cater for an ambitious exploration program, and considering the difficult project site location, Reunion undertook the refurbishment of serviceable infrastructure available from the old mine operation. This involved substantial investments to rehabilitate an administrative office, an old warehouse, various workshops, and multiple accommodations. This work is now substantially complete. The Company also undertook to upgrade and maintain a 50 kilometer road linking the former mine site to the fluvial port and to resurface the local airstrip.

The Company also commissioned engineering and infrastructure studies which began in October 2011 with a review by Worley Parsons of transportation and materials handling options. This will be followed by a more in-depth study of the requirements for plant to port infrastructure as well as bathymetric surveys and meta-ocean studies of the port to market route.

Quality assurance and quality control

Diamond drilling was done using triple-tube technology to maximize recovery and half of the core was used for sampling at regular 1.5 m intervals. Standard reference materials, blanks and duplicate samples have been used to control laboratory accuracy and precision. All trench and core sample preparation and assays were done by Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs), a Canadian ISO-accredited laboratory. Sample preparation done at Actlabs facility in Georgetown comprised of crushing to minus 2 mm and pulverization passing 200 mesh. Assays for manganese and other relevant oxides were done in Canada by XRF following borate fusion.

Sample preparation and XRF assay of trench samples reported from the Northern Prospect were done by FILAB on site using the same methodology described above.

Carlos H. Bertoni, P.Geo., a qualified person as defined under the terms of NI 43-101, has verified the data and approved the technical information contained in this press release.

About the Company

Reunion Gold Corporation is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in the Guyana Shield of South America. The Company through its 100% indirectly owned subsidiary Reunion Manganese Inc., has assembled a large, strategic land position to conduct exploration and development activities for manganese in the North West District of Guyana. The Company also has the right to acquire a 100% interest in a gold exploration project located in the Lely Mountain area in Eastern Suriname.

Manganese is the fourth largest metal consumed in the world, behind iron, aluminum and copper. It is a key component in steel and iron production with no viable substitute, and in short supply.

Additional information about the Company is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and at www.reuniongold.com.

Forward Looking Statements

The information in this press release has been prepared as at February 23, 2012. Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward looking information under the provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws. Such statements include statements regarding results of exploration, including trenching, drilling, geophysical exploration and stream sampling, as well as the Company's objective of delineating a NI 43-101 resource at Matthews Ridge. Such statements reflect the Company's views as at the date of this press release and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors, known and unknown could cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to: the possibility that the results of exploration will not be successful and that the Company will not be able to calculate a NI 43-101 resource within the expected time frame. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward-looking information, except as required by law. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

A table (Complete Diamond Drilling Results) is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Appendix_Reunion.pdf

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Reunion Gold Corporation
    James Crombie
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    450.677.2585
    450.677.2601 (FAX)
    info@reuniongold.com