December 02, 2010 10:56 ET

SEMAFO: Mana's Fofina Area Continues to Return High Grades

Initial Testing on V Zones Returns 21.62 g/t Au (43.11 g/t Au Uncut) Over 5 Meters and 2.72 g/t Au over 27.2 Meters (including 9.82 g/t Au over 6 meters)

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2010) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced the results of preliminary follow-up core drilling on the new Fofina area located 12.5 kilometers south of SEMAFO's Mana Mill, and presents an update on the ongoing regional exploration program. Core drilling results show good grades from the V zones (V1 to V4) with values of up to 21.62 g/t Au (43.11 g/t Au uncut) across 5 meters and 2.72 g/t Au across 27.2 meters (including 9.82 g/t Au over 6 meters). In addition, reverse circulation ("RC") and air core ("AC") drilling over the Fobiri and Fofina blocks continues to produce significant results including 11.43 g/t Au over 2 meters, 1.26 g/t Au over 15 meters and 3.99 g/t Au over 4 meters.

Subsequent to results communicated in SEMAFO's press release dated August 3, 2010, a core drilling program was initiated on the Fofina area including the V zones to observe the mineralization styles for further outline. In addition, a series of 200-meter-spaced RC drilling lines extending over the most promising gold-bearing zones are currently in progress in order to determine the orientation and grade continuity of the near-surface mineralization. Meanwhile, the ongoing AC drilling program continues to explore untested auger drilling anomalies. A total of 17 regional core drill holes (5,521 meters), 289 RC drill holes (42,285 meters), and 466 AC drill holes (17,362 meters) have been completed this year over the Fofina, Fobiri and Y1 areas. Assays remain pending for approximately 30% of the samples collected.

At Fofina, 5 DDH sections located between100 and 150 meters apart (Figure 1) were completed over both the Fofina and the V zones (V1 to V3). The holes were oriented towards the south to cross the northeast trending main Fofina Zone but also cut the V zones, which were believed to trend virtually east-west. Testing of the V structures shows that the zones are characterized by shallow dipping quartz-pyrite-arsenopyrite stringer zones, often associated with variably intense sericite alteration within massive volcanic rocks. Information gathered from this drilling now suggests that the V zones are virtually parallel to the Fofina, with the difference between the two related principally to the host rock as opposed to the geometry. The V Zones show frequent significant pinch and swell, similar to what we have observed at Nyafe. Nonetheless, high grade values were obtained on a regular basis in most of the 11 holes drilled (results from hole WDC-258 remain pending) as demonstrated by hole WDC-242 (21.90 g/t Au over 1 meter), WDC-244 (21.63 g/t Au over 5 meters – 43.11 g/t Au uncut), and WDC-251 (9.99 g/t Au over 1 meter). Major swelling of the mineralization was observed in holes WDC-246 (1.38 g/t Au over 26 meters), WDC-247 (2.72 g/t Au over 27.2 meters) and WDC-251 (1.17 g/t Au over 21 meters) and sometimes includes higher grade intervals such as in WDC-247 (9.82 g/t Au over 6 meters).

Fofina Area Core Diamond Drilling Highlights

DDH No. Zone From To Au* / Length**
WDC236 V1 91.0 96.0 1.56 g/t / 5.0 m
WDC239 V2 226.0 227.0 4.82 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC242 V1 26.0 29.0 3.22 g/t / 3.0 m
WDC242 V1 FW 149.0 150.0 4.33 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC242 V2 188.0 189.0 21.90 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC242 V2 232.0 234.0 4.09 g/t / 2.0 m
WDC244 V2 19.0 20.0 4.80 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC244 V2 35.0 40.0 21.63 g/t / 5.0 m
(43.11 g/t uncut)
WDC244 V3 196.0 202.0 3.26 g/t / 6.0 m
WDC246 V2 133.0 139.0 2.16 g/t / 6.0 m
WDC246 V3 208.0 234.0 1.47 g/t / 26.0 m
Including 231.0 234.0 6.13 g/t / 3.0 m
WDC247 Shallow Vein 47.0 48.0 2.09 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC247 V3 189.0 216.2 2.72 g/t / 27.2 m
Including 198.0 204.0 9.82 g/t / 6.0 m
WDC251 V1 55.0 56.0 9.99 g/t / 1.0 m
WDC251 V1 FW 151.0 172.0 1.17 g/t / 21.0 m
Including 151.0 153.0 5.44 g/t / 2.0 m
WDC254 Shallow Vein 249.8 250.8 3.25 g/t / 1.0 m
 * All individual samples are cut at 30 g/t in line with procedures applied to the Nyafe Deposit. This conservative approach is applied until a statistically representative database is collected 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.

The reinterpretation of the V zones suggests that the system consists of four main mineralized trends (Fofina, V1, V2 and V3) with some intermediate parallel zones, particularly between the V1 and V2 zones (V1 FW). Although there is an occurrence of pinch-and-swell, the V3 Zone hosts an area of good width and grade over a strike length of more than 250 meters and remains open to the southwest (Figure 1). The intersections of holes WDC-244 and WDC-247 are interpreted as being part of a previously reported structure and proximal to holes MRC10-68 (10.32 g/t Au across 12 meters – 17.21 g/t Au uncut), MRC10-70 (10.84 g/t Au over 9 meters) and MRC10-67 (7.01 g/t Au over 4 meters) (Reference: SEMAFO's press release dated June 17, 2010).

The strength and width of the deformation zone continues to be present over the Fofina Zone. Its trend however, is now interpreted to be more north-northeast than northeast with a shallower dip, which resulted in only three holes crossing the structure including WDC-259 for which assays remain pending. Hole WDC-236 crossed the wide structure but in saprolite, and gold grades were low, returning 0.28 g/t Au across 31.5 meters. The core program provided a better understanding of the stratigraphy that hosts the zones. The sediment-volcanoclastic package hosting the Fofina-V1 corridor is now observed on all sections drilled as opposed to what was originally believed. The stratigraphy appears fairly continuous across the area and therefore the rheological constraints most probably remained consistent, which is more favourable for lateral extension than discontinuous stratigraphic environments.

Ongoing regional exploration RC drilling is progressing well with three rigs completing systematic lines laterally along the most favourable gold-bearing intervals identified from prior RC or AC drilling results (Figure 2). Among these, the Fobiri 1 Zone has returned good widths of mineralization, including hole MRC10-273 (1.26 g/t Au over 15 meters). In addition, a second area located 1.2 kilometers southwest of the Nyafe Pit has returned several interesting results which will require additional follow-up including MRC10-267 (4.14 g/t Au across 2 meters). A third area located 2.2 kilometers north of the Fofina Zone is also producing interesting results such as in holes MRC10-243, MRC10-245, and MRC10-246.

Reverse-Circulation Drilling Highlights

Hole No. Zone From To Au / Length*
MRC10-127 New 43.0 44.0 4.03 g/t / 1.0 m
MRC10-243 New 28.0 29.0 3.79 g/t / 1.0 m
MRC10-245 New 30.0 31.0 4.21 g/t / 1.0 m
MRC10-246 New 23.0 24.0 3.12 g/t / 1.0 m
MRC10-251 H Zone 48.0 53.0 1.40 g/t / 5.0 m
Including   48.0 51.0 2.16 g/t / 3.0 m
MRC10-267 H Zone 42.0 44.0 4.14 g/t / 2.0 m
MRC10-273 FOB1 87.0 93.0 1.18 g/t / 6.0 m
MRC10-273 FOB1 119.0 134.0 1.26 g/t / 15.0 m
MRC10-275 FOB1 114.0 118.0 1.57 g/t / 4.0 m
MRC10-280 New 111.0 112.0 4.95 g/t / 1.0 m
MRC10-286 New 17.0 20.0 1.06 g/t / 3.0 m
MRC10-295 FOB1 112.0 115.0 1.37 g/t / 3.0 m
* All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.

The AC exploration program designed to test auger anomalies continues to produce significant intersections within the Fofina and Fobiri areas. High grade values over narrow widths were obtained, including hole MAC10-513 (11.43 g/t Au over 2 meters) and MAC10-299 (14.60 g/t Au over 1 meter). Both intersections are located immediately to the northwest of the Nyafe Pit (Figure 2). Also of interest are two wider zones emanating from two contiguous AC holes (MAC10-368 and MAC10-369) which returned 3.99 g/t Au over 4 meters and 1.19 g/t Au over 5 meters. These zones are located 1.6 kilometers along strike of the Fobiri 1 Zone, possibly representing its extension, and seem along strike of the H Zone. Intermediate lines will be extended in order to test this hypothesis.

Core Drilling Highlights

Hole No. Zone From To Au / Length*
MAC10-110 New 30.0 31.0 6.23 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-128 New 1.0 2.0 4.35 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-176 H Zone 30.0 33.0 2.77 g/t / 3.0 m
MAC10-244 New 34.0 39.0 1.65 g/t / 5.0 m
MAC10-250 New 22.0 25.0 1.31 g/t / 3.0 m
MAC10-252 New 6.0 13.0 1.03 g/t / 7.0 m
MAC10-270 New 3.0 5.0 2.54 g/t / 2.0 m
MAC10-282 New 17.0 19.0 2.23 g/t / 2.0 m
MAC10-294 New 17.0 19.0 3.49 g/t / 2.0 m
MAC10-298 New 15.0 17.0 2.05 g/t / 2.0 m
MAC10-299 New 16.0 17.0 14.60 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-300 New 16.0 17.0 2.97 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-301 New 22.0 23.0 2.75 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-305 New 20.0 21.0 1.29 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-306 New 6.0 7.0 1.05 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-307 New 2.0 3.0 4.68 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-309 New 22.0 23.0 1.53 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-310 New 8.0 9.0 3.53 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-312 New 15.0 16.0 5.35 g/t / 1.0 m
MAC10-368 New 34.0 38.0 3.99 g/t / 4.0 m
MAC10-369 New 45.0 50.0 1.19 g/t / 5.0 m
MAC10-450 New 15.0 17.0 6.05 g/t / 2.0 m
MAC10-486 New 14.0 19.0 1.15 g/t / 5.0 m
MAC10-513 Nyafe 15.0 17.0 11.43 g/t / 2.0 m
* All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.

The first phase of systematic RC drilling is expected to terminate before the end of the year. The new interpretation of the V zones will generate additional targets to be further investigated as part of our Phase II exploration program, scheduled to commence in Q4 2010 and continuing well into 2011. Finally, the AC program has commenced on the Y1 Block, located along strike and to the southwest of the Wona Zone to test newly identified auger anomalies. Further targets will be integrated into the program as auger drilling progresses.

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.

For core drilling, all individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of core which was sawed in half. Half of the core is kept on site for reference and its counterpart is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Minerals laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. For RC and AC drilling, all individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of rock chips homogenized and riffle-split to an approximately 2kg subsample which is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Minerals laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Each sample (core, RC, and AC) is fire-assayed for gold content on a 50-gram sub-sample at the same ALS Minerals 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: 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 "continues", "further", "in addition", "extending", "currently", "in progress", "pending", "suggests", "progressing", "designed", "will be", "extended", "expected", "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 the core drilling program initiated on the Fofina area to observe the mineralization styles for further outline, the ability of the series of 200-meter-spaced RC drilling lines to determine the orientation and grade continuity of the near-surface mineralization, the ability of the rheological constraints to remain consistent, the ability of AC holes (MAC10-368 and MAC10-369) to represent the extension of the Fobiri 1 Zone, 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 the 2010 First Quarter MD&A, 2010 Second Quarter MD&A and 2010 Third 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.

Two maps are available at the following address :

Contact Information

    Benoit La Salle
    President & CEO
    514-744-4408 or Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408
    Sofia St Laurent
    514-744-4408 or Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408