Maputo — The Canadian company African Queen Mines Ltd has abandoned its operations in Mozambique, after “a thorough review of its portfolio of exploration properties in Southern, West and East Africa”.
A press release from the company states that the purpose of the review was “to reduce costs of operations and to prioritise projects for development in 2013, while at the same time paring down its portfolio to eliminate projects which have not generated sufficiently promising results to warrant continued exploration”.
The main casualty of the review is the company’s King Solomon project in the western Mozambican province of Tete. The main target for exploration here was gold, but the results achieved, the company says, “do not suggest a high likelihood for the potential to host commercially viable deposits of gold or other minerals. Results of the second drill programme, reported January 6, 2012, failed to reflect meaningful widths or continuity of gold-bearing mineralization. Subsequent study during the past year did not generate any further highly prospective drill targets”.
According to African Queen, “the work carried out at King Solomon has led to a large increase in our knowledge and understanding regarding the geologic setting and genesis of the gold-bearing mineralization in place in the region. This better understanding has not, regrettably, translated into the identification of areas of better or more continuous mineralization than first identified”.
The company’s Chief Executive Office, Irwin Olian, said, “We must be responsive to the overall economic climate and relatively limited availability of exploration funding at this time. This requires that we use a very sharp pencil in limiting all costs and evaluating ongoing expenditures on our exploration projects. Dropping King Solomon and our Mozambique operations is a necessary part of this process and will allow us to now focus on our higher priority projects in Kenya and Ghana.”