LONDON, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - African Aura Mining Inc. ("African Aura" or the "Company"), the TSX-V (AUR) and AIM (AAAM) listed exploration and development company focused on gold and iron ore in sub-Saharan Africa, announces that it has intersected encouraging bedrock mineralization from reconnaissance diamond drilling at its Ndablama gold prospect in the Company's 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence in western Liberia.

  • Results from first 8 holes reported include 8m at 6.04 g/t and 16m at 2.38 g/t
  • Further trench results included 79m at 2.16 g/t
  • Soil sampling results have extended the gold anomaly to over 2.0km long
  • Results from final 7 holes of 2,500m drill programme expected Q1 2011
  • Phase two to include ground geophysics and further trenching and drilling

Luis da Silva, President and CEO of African Aura commented:

"We are very encouraged by these early stage drilling and trenching results from the Ndablama gold prospect. This promising gold target is located approximately 40 kilometres North East of our 1.51Moz New Liberty gold project and demonstrates similar geology. Trench results to date only cover half of the soil anomaly area and the reconnaissance drill results are restricted to an even smaller portion. The target area is now over two kilometres long and has many of the hallmarks of a potentially significant gold mineralised system.

David Reading, future CEO of Aureus Mining (the gold spin out company from African Aura - see below) commented: "As we move New Liberty towards production, with a target of 100,000oz of gold per year, the proximal exploration targets of Ndablama, Weaju, Silver Hills and Gondoja demonstrate the highly prospective nature of the Archaean geology within our mining licence, which remains unexplored due to historical reasons. The Company believes that there is considerable opportunity to expand the current resource base. Following on from our fund raising last year we are in the process of negotiating contracts for geophysical and diamond drilling programmes which will cover our priority gold targets as well as potential extensions to the New Liberty deposit."

Ndablama Prospect

The Ndablama prospect is located in the northeast corner of the Company's 457km2 25 year mining licence in western Liberia and approximately 40km northeast of the Company's New Liberty Archaean age shear zone hosted gold deposit. New Liberty has a NI 43-101 compliant resource of 1.51 million ounces of gold grading 3.78 g/t (comprising 5,599,000 tonnes grading 4.17 g/t (for 751,000 ounces) in the indicated category and 7,040,000 tonnes grading 3.40 g/t (for 762,000 ounces) in the inferred category) and a recently submitted Preliminary Economic Assessment highlighted a robust, open pit gold project with a pre tax NPV of US$234 million using a US$1,100 gold price at a 10% discount rate.

Ndablama is defined by the presence of extensive artisanal gold mining activity. The largest workings have a strike length of approximately 200m and attain a width of up to 50m. Artisanal miners operate on one year surface mining permits under the Liberian mining code with the regulations ensuring that subsurface mining rights, as held by African Aura, take precedence.

Further soil sampling results at Ndablama have extended the soil anomaly from 1.2km to over 2km in a north south direction. The anomalous zone of gold enrichment is defined by values of 150 to 3,000 ppb Au and is up to 400 metres wide in the southern portion of the anomaly. The anomalous zone remains open to the North, South and East. Follow up trenching has now been undertaken over an area of 800 meters by 100 metres within the southern portion of the soil anomaly. The trenches are 2-3 metres deep and have exposed weathered and sheared ultramafic rocks which are intruded and brecciated by tourmaline granites. Trench NT17 returned 79 metres grading 2.16 g/t gold. This result has extended the bedrock mineralization a further 400 metres northwards.

Table 1. Ndablama Prospect Trench Results

Mean Au
NT1 0 70 70 1.38
  Incl. 4 12 8 5.21
NT2 16 86 70 1.06
  Incl. 77 86 10 1.58
NT3 0 44 44 1.04
  Incl. 36 43 7 1.75
NT7 0 24 24 1.75
  Incl. 14 22 8 2.95
NT8 35 40 5 1.72
NT9 56 88 32 1.07
NT10 36 55 19 1.52
NT13 0 12 12 2.25
  and 54 59 5 1.66
  and 88 90 2 4.62
NT17 68 147 79 2.16
Assay grade data is un-cut.

A follow-up 15 hole, diamond drilling programme for approximately 2,500 metres has been in progress since November 2010 and was designed to test a portion of the soil anomaly covered by the recent trenching. Results have now been received for eight holes and returned encouraging, near surface, down hole intercepts which include 16 metres at 2.38 g/t (ND2), 8 metres at 6.04g/t (ND3) and 18 metres at 1.28 g/t (ND7). Gold mineralization is hosted by sheared ultramafic host rocks and is associated with and enveloped by disseminated sulphides which are primarily pyrite and occasionally chalcopyrite, stibnite and arsenopyrite. The ultramafic host rock is always wider than and enveloping the mineralized zones and contains disseminated magnetite within the hangingwall and footwall to the disseminated sulphide zone.

The current drilling results only cover a 400m by 100m area and results for the remaining seven holes, which will extend drilling up to trench NT17, are pending. All the eight holes reported here have been drilled at a 55 degree inclination from the surface in an easterly direction.

Following completion of the reconnaissance drilling programme the Company plans to undertake further trenching to cover all of the anomalous soil area as well as a detailed ground geophysical programme involving induced polarization (IP) and magnetic methods. The objective of the combined IP and magnetic ground survey's is to outline the geometry and extent of the disseminated sulphides and the ultramafic host rock. The trenching and ground geophysical programmes will be followed by geological modelling and a more comprehensive phase of diamond drilling.

Table 1. Ndablama Prospect Diamond drill hole results

Mean Au /
NDD1 2 9 7 1.40
and 49 53 4 1.39
and 56 60 4 2.84
NDD2 14 30 16 2.38
and 38 54 16 1.16
and 64 67 3 8.68
NDD3 20 28 8 6.04
and 45 49 4 1.94
NDD4 26 28 2 1.72
and 42 54 12 0.56
NDD5       NSV
NDD6 28 54 26 0.51
and 64 69 5 2.58
and  90 99 9 1.64
NDD7 16 22 6 1.76
and 26 44 18 1.28
NDD8 0 3 3 1.05
Assay grade data is un-cut. NSV = No Significant Value

Qualified Person

African Aura's Qualified Person responsible for preparing this release is David Reading (Non-Executive Director), who holds an MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Council of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. David Reading consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears and confirms that this information is accurate and not false or misleading.

Quality Control and Sample Preparation

African Aura has a rigorous Quality Control Programme (QCP) inserting a minimum 5% of standards, blanks and duplicates into the sample stream. The Company employs independently owned and managed OMAC Laboratories for all its assay requirements, including the preparation of pulps to 90% -100 micron at their in-country preparation facilities in Liberia, followed by chemical analysis at its main laboratory in Loughrea, Ireland. OMAC is accredited to ISO 17025 by INAB (Irish National Accreditation Board), which is a member of ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), and is a signatory to the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement. OMAC operates an internal QA/QC check assay programme using in-house standards, reagent blanks and duplicates.

About African Aura Mining Inc.

African Aura is an established exploration and development company listed on the TSX-V (AUR) and London's AIM (AAAM).

The Company operates two divisions that are intended to be split into separate listed companies becoming effective, subject to shareholder, regulatory and other approvals at, or around, the end of March 2011:

  • The iron ore division includes its 38.5% interest in the 1Bt Putu iron ore project in Liberia, which is subject to a resource expansion drilling programme and moving through pre-feasibility managed by joint venture partner Severstal Resources (the mining division of Moscow listed OAO Severstal). In September 2010 Putu was granted a 25 year renewable Mineral Development Agreement by the Government of Liberia. The division also includes a 100% interest in the Nkout 1Bt iron ore project and surrounding iron targets in Cameroon which is subject to a resource expansion drilling programme.
  • The gold assets, to be held in "Aureus Mining Inc." when listed independently, include the New Liberty gold deposit in western Liberia which has a resource of 1.51 million ounces of gold grading 3.78 g/t (comprising 5,599,000 tonnes grading 4.17 g/t in the indicated category and 7,040,000 tonnes grading 3.40 g/t in the inferred category) which is being advanced through a bankable feasibility study, and the proximal Ndablama, Weaju, Silver Hills and Gondoja gold projects all within the Company's Bea Mountain 25 year renewable Mineral Development Agreement.

In addition, the Company presently has a 22% interest in AIM-listed diamond producer Stellar Diamonds Plc (AIM: STEL, www.stellar-diamonds.com).

The Company has a highly motivated and experienced team with a track record of discovering mines and taking projects through development and into production. As a pioneer, African Aura has attracted some excellent strategic partners and shareholders, always with the objective of preserving or enhancing shareholder value. For further information on the Company you are invited to visit its website at www.african-aura.com, or SEDAR's website at www.sedar.com, or contact one of the following:

Forward-looking Statements

This press release includes certain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding the future plans and objectives of African Aura, are forward-looking statements that involve various known and unknown risks and uncertainties as well as other factors. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and, except as may be required by applicable law, African Aura disclaim any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking statements, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE African Aura Mining Inc.

For further information:

African Aura Mining Inc.
Luis da Silva, President & CEO    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7257 2930
Evolution Securities Limited
Rob Collins / Tim Redfern     Tel: +44 (0) 20 7071 4300
Pelham Bell Pottinger
Charles Vivian / James MacFarlane    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7861 3232

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African Aura Mining Inc.

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