September 30, 2010 11:09 ET

SEMAFO Commences New Airborne Geophysical Survey at Mana

Survey to Include Massala-Saoura Area with Grab Samples of Up to 13.8 g/t Au

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) announced the commencement of two new airborne geophysical surveys at its Mana District in Burkina Faso. A 985-km² ultra high resolution low elevation helicopter borne magnetic survey will be carried out across most peripheral permitted properties and will virtually double our magnetic coverage in the area. We will also perform a 302-km² HELITEM Lite electromagnetic ("EM") survey over part of the central Mana group of properties.

The magnetic survey will provide complete coverage of the extended group of permits located east, west, and north of the central block, surveyed in the third quarter 2009. The EM survey is designed to cover a large area in the southern half of the central group, including the Wona, Nyafé, and Fofina-Fobiri gold zones. The HELITEM Lite EM is a time-domain method designed to identify and map conductive zones such as graphitic horizons, which are vital gold bearing lithologies at both Wona and Fofina.

The 2009 survey effectively provided an excellent base targeting map for our systematic exploration program and subsequent discoveries, the Fofina, Fobiri, and other significant gold bearing structures. Extending the survey to other peripheral areas is expected to trace extents of potential trends, such as the Oula shear zone (Figure 1 : as well as to provide similar base information to identify further exploration targets for 2011. Albeit much less explored, it is believed that the peripheral areas host exciting gold mineralization based on historical work. For example, the Massala and Saoura permits located immediately north of the central group covers a more than 15-km long gold-bearing volcanosedimentary corridor, which demonstrate similarities to the Wona host rocks. Evidence of extensive old artisanal mining has been observed at some localities within the Massala and Saoura areas. In addition, SEMAFO grab sampling completed since 2005 along a 12 kilometer section of the more extensive corridor, returned many high grade values up to 13.8 g/t Au (Figure 1). The magnetic survey is expected to better establish the structural and geological context underlying the gold anomalies in the same way as the 2009 airborne survey provided a regional image of the Wona volcanosedimentary corridor.

The HELITEM Lite EM survey will cover a large area over our current exploration efforts and operating mine. The deep-penetrating HELITEM Lite technology will detect and map conductive zones. Since the Wona Deposit is associated with conductive lithologies such as graphitic sediments, this survey can be used in conjunction with the 2009 magnetic survey to refine our geological and structural knowledge of the underlying rocks well below the saprolitic horizon. HELITEM Lite EM data has effectively been used in many areas including West Africa as a helpful regional mapping and prospecting tool.

SEMAFO believes that the already successful 2010 program, which commenced with a regional airborne magnetic survey, greatly enhances the value and potential of the peripheral group of permits. Our geological knowledge of the area is growing rapidly and further discoveries can be anticipated from the new surveys. In addition, the HELITEM Lite survey will shed new light on our interpretation of the new gold zones and how they relate to both Wona and Nyafé.

The exploration programs were designed and managed locally by Dofinta Bondé and David Lalonde, Mana Mineral's Exploration Chief Geologists and Richard Roy P Geo, Deputy Geology Manager, and guided and supervised under the direction of Michel Crevier, P.Geo MScA, Geology Manager and SEMAFO's Qualified Person who has reviewed this press release for accuracy and compliance with National Instrument 43-101.


SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa.

Caution Concerning Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "expected", "potential", "trends", "further", "believes", "enhances", "anticipated", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", "growth" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability of historical work to evidence gold mineralization in peripheral areas, the ability of the new surveys to translate into further discoveries, the ability of the HELITEM Lite survey to shed new light on our interpretation of the new gold zones and how they relate to both Wona and Nyafe, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2009 Annual MD&A, as updated in our 2010 First Quarter MD&A and 2010 Second Quarter MD&A and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at These documents are also available on our website at SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

Contact Information

    Benoit La Salle
    President & CEO
    Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408
    Sofia St Laurent
    Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408