The company, which has a market capitalisation of $91.87 million, held $14.7 million cash at the end of the September 2018 financial quarter.
Oklo managing director Simon Taylor said last month the company planned to start the program in November, “focusing on our flagship Dandoko (Gold) Project with a small portion of the budget allocated to some of the regional targets including Kouroufing.
“We are hopeful that the upcoming field season will continue to deliver excellent results.”
Oklo reported in its September 2018 quarter report that the $5 million drilling budget had been approved by its board and its upcoming work program was expected to take six months to complete.
The company has more than 1,300 square kilometres of largely unexplored ground across Mali.
Oklo’s gold projects are concentrated in two key areas: west Mali (Dandoko, Moussala, Kouroufing, Kandiole and Socaf) and south Mali (Yanfolila, Kolondieba, Sirakourou and Solabougouda).
Both permit groups are located over the highly-prospective Proterozoic Birimian greenstone belts near a number of multi-million-ounce gold mining operations.
The company raised $16.7 million in the 2017-18 financial year for its efforts and was “well set to capitalise on its strong position as it progresses into the 2019 field season” Oklo chairman Michael Fotios wrote in the company’s 2018 annual report published on September 28, 2018.
Fotios said: “The past year has seen our company continue to build a strong foundation on the back of previous results from 2017 and advance its vision of unearthing a major gold deposit in Mali, West Africa.”
Oklo’s significant shareholders include Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG), which showed its confidence the company by upping its stake to 10.29% in August 2018.
On June 30, 2018, Blackrock Group was the company’s largest shareholder, holding 14.8%, followed by 1832 Asset Management LP (7.61%), Hawkstone Group (6.51%), Resolute (then 5.47%) and ACK Pty Ltd (5.46%).
There were 302,405,510 fully-paid ordinary shares at the time which could be moved in 2,000-share marketable parcels worth $500.
Oklo tenure in Mali
Latest field program
Explorer Oklo’s upcoming December 2018 quarter drilling program is forecast to include 35 kilometres of diamond drilling (DD), reverse circulation (RC) drilling and aircore (AC) drilling at Seko prospect, Kouroufing and other prospects along Dandoko gold corridor.
Oklo stated in its September quarter report that $750,000, or 15%, of the budget would be dedicated to a 25,000-metre low-cost auger drilling program for regional exploration targets.
Seko prospect success at Dandoko project
Sydney-based explorer Oklo received final assay results from phase II shallow AC, deep RC and DD at the Seko prospect in the September 2018 quarter.
Seko is found at the company’s flagship 134 square kilometre Dandoko Gold Project.
The project is in the vicinity of west Mali’s world-class Kenieba Inlier gold deposits, just 30 kilometres from B2Gold Corp’s (TSE:BTO) (NYSEAMERICAN:BTG) (FRA:5BG) 5.15 million ounce operating gold mine Fekola and 50 kilometres from Randgold Resources Limited’s (LON:RRS) (FRA:RGR1) (OTCMKTS:RGORF) 12.5 million ounce Loulo Gold Mine.
Oklo used its latest quarterly to highlight the results from two anomalies — SK2 and SK3 — at Seko prospect.
SK2 anomaly returned “exceptional high-grade gold” from DD holes, with highlights being: 7 metres grading 16.24 g/t from the surface, including 2 metres at 46.75 g/t from 4 metres; and 40 metres grading 10.66 g/t from 25 metres, including 10 metres at 23.82 g/t from 25 metres and 9 metres at 11.51 g/t from 43 metres.
AC drilling 400 metres north of SK2 identified a new mineralised gold zone that featured 11 metres grading 1.79 g/t from 31 metres, including 2 metres at 5.01 g/t from 40 metres, with the hole then ending in mineralisation.
Oklo said SK3 anomaly “results demonstrate the potential for further discoveries at SK3 with a significant new intersection from the most northern line of drilling, offset 100 metres to the east of the main SK3 trend.”
A highlight gold intersection from the anomaly was 20 metres grading 3.03 g/t from 209 metres, including 3 metres at 10.24g/t from 226 metres with the hole then ending in mineralisation.
The company reported a number of significant intersections that it drilled in holes while testing for extensions to the broad zone of mineralisation at SK3.
These intersections included 28 metres grading 2.2 g/t from 155 metres, including 6 metres at 4.62 g/t from 142 metres and 27 metres at 1.35 g/t from 63 metres.
Oklo reported it achieved “positive metallurgical results from bottle-roll cyanide leach analysis on oxide and primary (fresh rock) samples tested from the Seko prospect” during the quarter.
Yet-to-be explored by Oklo, the Kandiole sud project near its flagship Dandoko project
Oklo also inked deals in the September 2018 quarter to pick up 100% of the Sari and Kossaya projects which take in an 84 square kilometre expanse and are found within 5 kilometres of Dandoko project in west Mali.
Last financial year the company first picked up the 91 square kilometre Kouroufing earn-in project 20 kilometres southeast of Dandoko.
Oklo also fully acquired the 116 square kilometre Kandiole sud project 5 kilometres southwest of Dandoko project and 10 kilometres southeast of B2Gold’s Fekola mine in April.
The company is yet to explore this project.
The Dandoko gold corridor extends for 12 kilometres in west Mali and includes Dandoko and Moussala projects, and the Dabia and Sory prospects found near Dandoko's Seko prospect
Dandoko gold corridor
Oklo undertook drilling at the Sory and Dabia prospects, 1.5 kilometres south and north of Seko prospect, on the Dandoko gold corridor in the September 2018 quarter.
The company said, “Drilling results further confirm the Dandoko gold corridor as a district-scale trend with the potential to host further significant gold discoveries.”
First RC drilling at Sory showed up a 44-metre gold intersection grading 1.37 g/t from 33 metres, including 5 metres at 2.36 g/t from 33 metres and 14 metres at 2.46 g/t from 63 metres.
Follow-up AC drilling at Sory delivered 35 metres grading 1 g/t from 19 metres, including 4m at 3.4 g/t from 47 metres.
At Dabi, shallow AC drilling delivered gold intersections such as 25 metres at 2.5g/t from 65 metres, including 4 metres at 5.03 g/t from 68 metres, 1 metre at 10.2 g/t from 78 metres and 2 metres at 6.59g/t from 84 metres.
Another highlight Dabi intersection featured 5 metres at 4.85 g/t from 31 metres, including 4 metres at 5.03 g/t from 68 metres.
Auger drill holes at Kouroufing Gold Project
Kouroufing project auger drilling
Oklo believes initial results from an auger drilling program at its earn-in Kouroufing Gold Project “demonstrate the potential for further discoveries, with multiple walk-up drill targets identified.”
The company reported last month it had exercised an option to acquire 100% of the project from Research Permit number PR 17/689 owner Kouroufing Gold S.A.
Oklo spent a €117,000 minimum in the first year on the permit, then issued 648,641 fully paid shares worth 70,000,000 FCFA (about $167,483) to acquire a 65% stake, as announced on October 25, 2018.
The remaining 35% is to be transferred a year after the option exercise.
Oklo uncovered a 6-kilometre gold corridor at Kouroufing with “extensive” anomalies during a September 2018 first-pass auger program.
The company reported numerous shallow anomalies were more than a metre in length, grading more than 1 g/t gold.
Oklo’s best composite gold intersections were: 8 metres grading 14.35 g/t from 5 metres; 5 metres grading 2.18g/t from 7 metres; and 15 metres grading 1.25 g/t from surface.
If Oklo applies for an exploitation licence it will grant Kouroufing a 5% equity interest in the mining licence and a 1% net smelter return royalty.
Kouroufing can then sell its equity interest in the licence back to Oklo for US$1 million cash.