June 20, 2007

Kefi has a Strong Turkish Flavour

By Rob Davies

At a market capitalisation of £4million Kefi Minerals must be one of the smallest constituents of AIM. Bulls can argue that gives it plenty of upside and the pace that managing director Geoff Rayner is setting gives plenty of grounds for believing that interesting results won’t be too far away. Geoff and his exploration manager Malcolm Stallman were able to talk to Minews on a conference call recently and give us the latest news.

Kefi was spun out of EMED Mining just before Christmas 2006 and has only had a short life as an independent. EMED retains a 39 per cent stake and Starvest owns another 21 per cent so the stock is quite tightly held, and with good reason. Geoff was closely involved in the Biely Vrch gold discovery made by EMED in Slovakia and has a long exploration track record. This 400 metre deep discovery still seems strangely unrecognised by the market.  Kefi provides an excellent vehicle for him and his team to harness those talents in Turkey and Bulgaria and repeat the success.

In Bulgaria Kefi has just one project at Lehovo in the Pirin metallogenic province 150 kilometres south of Sofia. The exploration licence cover 71 square kilometres of rural land which is considered prospective for three styles of mineralisation:  stratiform lenses prospective for gold and base metals, gold stockworks and molybdenite-scheelite skarns.  Within the project area it is has focussed on three particular areas: Kazanite, Touchi Dol and South Lehovo. 

Its Turkish programme is more advanced and is larger amounting to six separate projects these are: Artvin, Gumushane, Derinin Tepe, Karalar, Muratdag and Meyvali.  The most recent news was about the Derinin Tepe target in Western Anatolia where trenching across ancient Roman workings has revealed high grade grab samples. Permits for an initial 600 metre drilling programme have been received and  it is expected to start in July. Geoff is planning day and night shift drilling and expects to get first results by the end of that month. Early work has confirmed to the geologists that the licence is prospective for low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits. The main target is a one kilometre long vein structure that is coincident with ancient workings, although these are mostly backfilled and hence need trenching to get proper access.  In places it swells to eight metres in width and Geoff believes it has the potential to host a half million or a million ounce deposit.  Two other veins are also known at the site with a total strike length of two and a half kilometres.

At the Muratdag property in the Simav Graben in Western Anatolia geological mapping and soil sampling has just commenced in the search for a Carlin style gold deposit. Historic mercury workings are taken to be a positive sign and data from exploration by Niugini Mining around 1990 has also been helpful. The Meyvali licence is ten kilometres east of Derinin Tepe and is considered prospective for both epithermal gold and polymetalic skarn deposits. Stream sediment sampling and geological mapping has now started here.

Artvin in north-eastern Turkey shows extensive hydrothermal alteration as well as evidence of historic mining and is being examined for its porphyry copper potential. Work here has been delayed by snow blocking access to the site. In eastern Turkey the Gumushane licence area shows large amounts of hydrothermal alteration which the Aster imaging data has helped interpret. Malcolm explains that this technique is enormously helpful in differentiating variations in alteration types by analysing the light reflected back from the rock.

All these programmes show Kefi is moving rapidly ahead. In conjunction with that Geoff says it has reviewed another 20 properties, many of them brought to them by locals. The lack of much modern exploration work in the country leaves plenty of potential for locals to bring almost forgotten areas of interest to the attention of the newcomers. Kefi seems to have the drive to follow them up.