Gold and base metal exploration in the Liptako Niger
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Metal + Mineral 
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Copyright 2001 - 2015 by    Wolfgang Hampel
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Gold and Base Metal Exploration on the Tialkam Exploration Licence, Liptako Region, Niger, West Africa          

Summary of: 'Tialkam Permit, Liptako/Niger - Final Report'.- 20 pp, 14 maps and 19 annexes

Clients: GeoServices Int/Barrick/ Anglo-American

Position held: Technical Director, Consultant

Scope of project

The initial minimum target of Barrick Gold was 3 Mio ounces. Later Anglo formed a JV with Barrick and the minimum target was reduced to 1 Mio ounces. In late 1998, Anglo decided to redirect the exploration almost entirely to base metals. The target was given as a mine  with a minimum operating time of 10-15 years.


This included the setting-up, realisation and supervision of the exploration programme, incl. the organisation and running of a fully equipped field laboratory and dealing with local authorities. The staff under my supervision included 1 permanent expat geologist, 2 expat geological technicians, several consultant geologists, 1 local geologist and a local staff of 150 persons.

Work carried out

+  Re-interpretation of all available data

+  stream sediments: 260 samples

+  interpretation of Landsat images and aerial photographs

+  outcrop/channel sampling: 1,000 samples

+  regional mapping 1: 50,000: 780 sqkm

+  statistical interpretation of data

+  regional mapping 1: 20,000: 130 sqkm

+  evaluation of all known orpailleur sites

+  detailed mapping 1: 5,000: 22 sqkm

+  generation of more than 20 new targets

+  RAB-drilling: 18,500 m

+  Structural interpretation

+  trenching: 4,800 m

+  development of metallogenetic models

+  Soil/lag/termite mound samples: 4,300 samples

+  Comprehensive description of all 47 targets


The project area of 780 sqkm was well known to me through earlier work in 1992/93. Orpailleur sites were evaluated by channel sampling, trenching and partly by RAB-drilling. New Au targets were generated by a combination of geochemical surveys (Au + 33), structural and geological interpretation. Geochemical anomalies with favourable element associations (i.e. Au-As-Sb, indexes like NUMCHI, CHI, etc.) were given the preference to pure Au-anomalies. The base metal targets were generated by the interpretation of the geological setting, airborne geophysical data and the soil geochemistry data base.


 In total 47 targets were identified, including 40 for Au, 5 for Au and base metals combined and 2 exclusively for base metals. One of the most important discoveries was the delineation of the so-called Samira Horizon for more than 10 km on the concession area. The Samira Deposit (ca. 2 Mio oz) is currently being developed by the JV of Etruscan-Semafo-Managem on the neighbouring Tiawa Concession. Due to the re-direction of the programme towards base metals, this discovery could not be followed up.


Metallogenetic map of the Zeboun - Congo Touré subarea, Tialkam Permit, Niger

Click on thumbnail to get a fullsize image (145 kb)