May 17, 2010 (Filing Services Canada) -- African Queen Mines Ltd. (AQ - TSX Venture, QM0 - FWB), (the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has now entered into an Earn-in and Joint Venture Agreement (the "Agreement") with Kenyan private company ABBA MINING COMPANY LIMITED ("Abba"), covering exploration, development and exploitation of the Rongo Gold Field Project (the "Project"), which is the subject of Special License No. 287 (the "License"), granted to Abba by the Commissioner of Mines and Geology of the Government of the Republic of Kenya (the "Commissioner") on January 22, 2010. The License grants full and exclusive rights to prospect and explore for all minerals for an initial period of two years within an area of approximately 112 sq. km. known as the Rongo Gold Field in the Kanango gold mining area of the Migori District of Nyanza Province in Southwest Kenya near Lake Victoria.
The Project is situated some 380 km. by road from the capital city of Nairobi and 60 km. N of the border with Tanzania, forming part of the rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt extending from Tanzania and hosting known world-class gold deposits including African Barrick Gold's Bulyanhulu and North Mara Mines, within approximately 100 km. of the Project, and AngloGold Ashanti's Geita Mine.
Under the terms of the Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement with Abba, the Company may earn up to an 85% interest in the Project by funding prescribed optional stages from exploration through feasibility. In addition, the Company is required to make three payments to Abba to secure its rights under the Agreement in the sum of U.S. $100,000 each on the date of effectiveness of the Agreement (now), the commencement of Phase 2 and the commencement of Phase 3, respectively. The Company is designated as manager and operator of the Project on behalf of the joint venture partners, subject to full consultation with Abba on all material aspects of the Project. Abba has agreed to transfer the License to the Company's Kenyan operating subsidiary presently being formed upon the Company's election to proceed to Phase 3 and payment of the above three rights payments. The Agreement has now been approved by the Commissioner.
The License area is comprised primarily of Archaean age metavolcanics of the Nyanzian System. This region has historically recorded gold production with Migori, one of the earliest gold mines in Kenya and well known for its Archaean lode gold production, located just SW the southern perimeter of the License. The mineral occurrences on the License were reported to have been first discovered in 1994 by an unsuspecting farmer who correctly identified a gold nugget in the soil. Subsequently, artisinal miners entered the area and have been carrying out sporadic small-scale operations to present principally geared toward recovering gold from vein quartz pebbles in the soil profile. Nonetheless, the potential hard-rock deposit is largely occluded by a layer of topsoil and overburden, with very few visible outcroppings. Only this topsoil has been worked by the local farming community and has led to the property being overlooked and underexplored, with its mineral potential largely unrecognised until now. Recent pitting, trenching and sampling has revealed a highly auriferous mineralized zone below the overburden covering an area extending at least 5 sq. km. at surface, with presence of visible gold in significant quantities.
The Company carried out a comprehensive site examination in April, 2010, as well as a due diligence review of the License and Project. A number of rock chip samples were identified within which visible gold was seen. The rocks are generally mafic to intermediate metavolcanics (andesites) which are extensively epidotised and often silicified. These rock types host the majority of Archaean lode gold deposits in Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe and neighbouring Tanzania. The main type of mineralization in the License area comprises sheet swarms and stockworks of gold-bearing quartz veins commencing at or near surface. The gold is typically associated with pyrite, galena and other copper sulphides. Historic grab samples taken from the artisanal workings have reported grades in excess of 2 g/t au and as high as 96 g/t au.
Geological exposures were visited in the field and late stage granites can be distinguished in the western parts, while the central and eastern areas are largely underlain by mafic and felsic volcanic rocks. Large shear zone related structures are identified which are certain to have played a role in the location of the gold bearing quartz veins. Initial social awareness programmes indicate that the community is very much in support of investment through mining and is welcoming the Company's activities in the region. No areas of protected forest are noted with the entire area being used for agriculture.
Phase 1 of the Project, scheduled to get underway as soon as practicable, is a ground exploration program comprised of soil and rock sampling, mapping, trenching, pitting and sample analysis, together with review of geophysics and historic data, as well as such additional studies as the parties shall agree. The objective of the Phase 1 Exploration Program is to assess the overall geologic structure of the License area and the likelihood of a commercially viable gold deposit within the License area, as well as to identify discreet drill targets for a Phase 2 core drilling program. The costs for Phase 1, estimated at up to U.S. $200,000, are being paid by the Company. The Company earns a 25% interest in the Project by paying all costs of Phase 1. The Project is being managed on behalf of the Company by Senior Consulting Geologist Mr. Pete Siegfried (M.Sc., MAusIMM), a qualified person, who has approved the contents of this press release.
According to Irwin Olian, CEO of the Company, "We are delighted to be moving forward with the Rongo Gold Field Project in Kenya on the rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt. The geology is exciting and we have developed a strong relationship with our JV partner Abba as well as the Government of Kenya in the past few months during our preliminary studies and due diligence review. We have been welcomed by the Prime Minister of Kenya as well as local church and community leaders and anticipate a very positive relationship with the people of Kenya, who will share in the benefits of our project. We are very happy indeed to be adding this Project to our portfolio of existing projects in Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana and Namibia. Together with the King Solomon Project in Mozambique and Noyem Project in Ghana, Rongo now gives the Company a third very promising gold project with potential to host a commercial, large scale deposit. We are committed to building a successful mining company through development of our key projects, while also adding to our portfolio of mineral assets in the ground on an ongoing basis through acquisitions and joint ventures. In this way, we are striving to build a portfolio of long-term hard assets for our shareholders in a period of deteriorating confidence in governments and paper currencies around the world."
The Company is an exploratory resource company with diversified mineral properties in Southern and West Africa. It is exploring its properties in Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana for gold and other metals and it is exploring its properties in Botswana and Namibia for diamonds. The Company's licenses in Botswana and Namibia comprise approximately 9208 sq km of diamond prospects. In Mozambique it has approximately 380 sq km of gold and other metals licenses under agreements with two other companies. In Kenya it has approximately 112 sq. km. of gold and other minerals licenses under an agreement with another company. Its operations in Botswana are carried out through its operating subsidiary, PAM Botswana (Pty) Ltd.; its operations in Namibia are carried out through its operating subsidiary PAM Minerals Namibia (Pty) Ltd.; its operations in Mozambique are carried out through its subsidiary PAM Mocambique Limitada and its operations in Ghana are carried out through its subsidiary AQ Ghana Gold Limited. Its operations in Kenya will be carried out by an operating subsidiary presently being formed. The Company has its executive offices in Vancouver, Canada.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
AFRICAN QUEEN MINES, LTD.
Chairman & CEO
For more information, contact:
Irwin Olian, President and CEO
Phone: (604) 899-0100
Fax: (604) 899-0200
Carrie Howes, Corporate Communications
Phone: Dusseldorf - +49 (0) 1722 1234 47
Phone: London - +44 (0) 7780 602 788
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of the information contained herein. The statements made in this press release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ from the Company's expectations.
AFRICAN QUEEN MINES LTD.
Suite 1450, Box 11553
650 W. Georgia Street
Source: African Queen Mines Ltd.
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