June 17, 2010 10:26 ET

SEMAFO Discovers New Fofina Gold Zone at Mana with Intersects of up to 4.12 g/t Au Over 30 Meters, Including 9.12 g/t Au Over 10 Meters

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced the discovery of several new gold mineralized zones at its Mana property in Burkina Faso confirming the effectiveness of the Company's systematic exploration methodology. The first reverse-circulation ("RC") drilling results from the new Fofina Zone returned gold values of up to 4.12 g/t over 30 meters, including 9.12 g/t over 10 meters. The discovery stems from this year's ongoing $9 million exploration program at Mana, which currently includes core drilling (3 rigs), RC drilling (2 rigs) and auger drilling for geochemical sampling (5 rigs).

Following a first grid of RC drilling on 1,000 meter sections, four major gold bearing zones were intersected. Early results show the new Fofina Zone as having similar geological settings to the Wona deposit, but demonstrating high grades comparable to Nyafé. Zones V1, V2, V3, V4 and Other Veins resemble the Nyafé Deposit in structure and grade.

The Fofina Zone is located within a 50-meter wide deformation zone situated at the contact of a sequence of shale and minor volcanoclastic rocks, and intermediate to mafic volcanic flows. The deformation zone is characterized by strong sericite-silica alteration and pyrite-arsenopyrite mineralization. Most of the sericite-silica alteration is gold-bearing, including the steeply dipping zones of high grade gold values which demonstrate similarities to the Wona mineralization (Figure 1).

DDH No. Zone From To Au / Length**
MRC10-050 Fofina 114 138 2.16 g/t / 24 m
  Including 114 127 3.27 g/t / 13 m
MRC10-051 Fofina 53 83 4.12 g/t / 30 m
  Including 53 63 9.12 g/t / 10 m
MRC10-089 Fofina 139 153 2.22 g/t / 14 m
  Including 150 153 5.24 g/t / 3 m
MRC10-090 Fofina 17 37 1.00 g/t / 20 m
  Including 21 25 2.36 g/t / 4 m

** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.

In addition, the footwall volcanic rock sequence contains a series of shallowly dipping silicified zones and veins similar to the Nyafé mineralization with significant gold intercept values ranging up to 7.40 g/t over 5 meters and 5.48 g/t over 7 meters on Zone V1 (Figure 1). Other similar type mineralization was also encountered on Zone V2, located 200 meters to the northeast (Figure 2). Assays obtained from Zone V3 returned intercepts such as 7.01 g/t Au over 4 meters, 10.32 g/t Au over 12 meters and 10.84 g/t Au over 9 meters.

DDH No. Zone From To Au / Length**
MRC10-052 V1 45 52 5.48 g/t / 7 m
  Including   45 50 7.40 g/t / 5 m
MRC10-053 V1 7 8 2.23 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-090 V1 69 76 1.99 g/t / 7 m
  Including   69 72 3.62 g/t / 3 m
MRC10-065 V2 31 32 7.86 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-083 V2 103 107 3.18 g/t / 4 m
MRC10-086 V2 39 40 9.49 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-067 V3 134 138 7.01 g/t / 4 m
  Including   135 137 12.63 g/t / 2 m
MRC10-068 V3 92 104 10.32 g/t / 12 m
        (17.21 g/t* uncut)
  Including   93 97 26.39 g/t / 4 m
        (47.04 g/t* uncut)
MRC10-070 V3 44 53 10.84 g/t / 9 m
MRC10-071 V3 5 8 1.09 g/t / 3 m
MRC10-072 V4 86 87 17.55 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-073 V4 65 66 5.29 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-075 V4 10 12 7.50 g/t / 2 m
MRC10-054 Other Vein 36 39 4.99 g/t / 3 m
MRC10-054 Other Vein 88 90 6.70 g/t / 2 m
MRC10-055 Other Vein 56 57 13.45 g/t / 1 m
MRC10-056 Other Vein 38 42 11.02 g/t / 4 m
MRC10-056 Other Vein 48 50 8.50 g/t / 2 m

* All individual samples are cut at 30 g/t as per Nyafé Deposit procedures. This conservative approach will be applied until a statistically representative database has been collected in order to establish a specific cutting grade for this area.

** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.

"SEMAFO is extremely pleased with these discoveries, which confirm the outstanding potential of the Nyafé area in Burkina Faso. The discovery of the Fofina Zone on our first exploration target area clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of our auger geochemical sampling program," said Michel Crevier, Geology Manager and SEMAFO's Qualified Person. "We are confident that our 2010 exploration program will continue to generate additional discoveries and contribute to increasing our resources and reserves base at Mana."

Commenting on the results, Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO's President and CEO said, "These are some of the best results in Mana's history. The Fofina Gold Zone discovery along with the four new parallel zones in the area, clearly demonstrate Nyafé's remarkable potential. These findings evidence numerous high grade auriferous deposits mineable by open pit. We believe that this new discovery, which is still open in all directions, will provide many options for growth to ultimately increase shareholder value."

The Fofina discovery is the result of follow-up RC drilling on an auger geochemical anomaly that returned gold values of up to 1.22 g/t. The anomaly FNW3 (ref. SEMAFO's April 14, 2010 press release) (Figure 3) is the first of two auger drill anomalies being tested by RC drilling. The RC drill rig is currently active on the Fobiri block (FOB1 and FOB2), where auger drilling returned saprolite samples of up to 1.91 g/t Au. Other anomalies located on both the Fofina and Fobiri blocks will also be tested. A follow-up RC and core drilling program will ensue to establish the geometry and extent of the mineralization as well as to further understand its mode of occurrence, which demonstrates similarities to both the Wona and Nyafé deposits.

Vein geometry and distribution observed at Fofina may result from rheological differences bordering a volcanic center to the north of the discovery. A mapping program has been scheduled in order to validate and better understand the prevailing structural and lithological environments across the Fofina and Fobiri areas.

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.

All individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of rock chips homogenized and riffle-split to an approximately 2-kilogram sub-sample, which is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Chemex laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Each sample is fire-assayed for gold content on a 50-gram sub-sample at the same ALS Chemex laboratories. In addition to ALS Chemex's own QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) program, an internal quality control and quality assurance program is in place throughout the sampling program, using blind duplicates, blanks and recognized industry standards.


SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines in Burkina Faso, Niger and 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 "will", "continue", "increasing", "believe", "ultimately", "increase", "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 to complete our 2010 exploration program, the ability of our 2010 exploration program to generate new discoveries and contribute to increasing our resources and reserves base at Mana, the ability of this new discovery to provide options for growth and ultimately increase shareholder value, the ability to find organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa, 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 the 2010 First 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.

Figures 1, 2 and 3 are available at the following address:

Contact Information

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