Loncor owns or controls a contiguous block of 55 exploration permits or PRs covering an area of approximately 17,760 square kilometers to the northwest of Lake Edward in North Kivu province. These PRs are located between the two major gold belt terrains of the DRC - the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, owned by Banro Corporation, and the Kilo-Moto gold belt, previously controlled by Moto Gold and now by Barrick and Anglogold Ashanti. The main provincial centres within the project area are Butembo and Lubero.
To date, Loncor had identified ten gold prospects for follow up, the most prospective being the Manguredjipa prospect where 300,000 ounces of alluvial gold was mined during the colonial period. Other gold prospects warranting follow up include Lutunguru, Lubero, Makwasu, Lutela, Bilolo, Manzia, Mohanga and Lundjulu. This is an area that has never been explored using modern exploration techniques.
GEOLOGY AND HISTORY
The Loncor properties are located within the Kibaran Orogenic Belt, consisting of Archean greenstones and Proterozoic meta-sediments which have experienced a protracted history of tectonism, volcanism and metamorphism. The Kibaran Orogenic belt is primarily prospective for gold and platinum minerals, but also has potential to host tin, niobium, tantalum, tungsten, beryllium, copper and cobalt.
The Belgian company Miniere des Grands Lacs (MGL) mined alluvial gold and platinum on Loncor's North Kivu permits between the 1920s and 1960s. In the Manguredipa area alone, over 300,000 oz of alluvial gold and platinum were extracted.
MGL's alluvial operations eventually led to the discovery of numerous primary high-grade quartz veins, stockworks and disseminated gold deposits (see map below). These deposits were tested by MGL during the 1940s and 1950s by trenching, adits and diamond drilling. However, low gold prices and civil unrest caused the cessation of activities in 1960.
NON-GOLD MINERAL POTENTIAL
In addition to gold, there are a number of alluvial platinum occurrences in the project area, including the type locality for the platinum selenide mineral luberoite near Lubero. To date no primary source has been found for the alluvial platinum occurrences.
Although the priority is gold and platinum, the North Kivu Project permits also have a number of niobium, rare earths, tantalum, copper, iron and diamond occurrences. Rock sampling and geological mapping will be undertaken on some of these, including the Bingo carbonatite that contains significant amounts of pyrochlore (niobium/tantalum), to determine whether more detailed follow up is required.
In 2008, Loncor conducted airborne radiometric and geophysical surveys (14,316 line kilometres) of its PRs. Follow-up interpretation yielded several anomalies, with possible primary gold mineralization.
The program will focus on the most advanced gold prospect within the North Kivu project area, Manguredjipa, where exploration began in 2009 in the vicinity of the known gold occurrences. In addition, regional exploration will be undertaken on the additional nine identified gold prospects found elsewhere within the North Kivu Project area. Follow-up will also be undertaken on the alluvial platinum occurrences in the Lubero area to determine the primary source of this precious metal.