AFRICAN QUEEN MINES LTD. (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has now completed a thorough review of its portfolio of exploration properties in Southern, West and East Africa, in order to prioritize projects for development in 2012 while at the same time paring down its portfolio to eliminate certain early-stage projects which have not generated sufficiently promising initial results to warrant continued exploration. A decision has now been reached to commence core drilling programs during the first quarter of 2012 at the Company’s Noyem-Nyanfoman Gold Project in Ghana, as well as its Odundu target at the Rongo Gold Fields Project in Kenya. Drill targets have already been identified through 2011 work programs at each of such projects, where recent legal settlements have cleared the way for accelerated exploration and de velopment. Drilling is in preparation and further details will be announced shortly.
Further exploration programs will also be undertaken during 2012 at the King Solomon Project in Mozambique as well as the Ugunja Gold Project and Karameri Metals Project in Kenya. Study is presently underway by management to delineate the optimal programs to be undertaken at each of such projects.
As a junior resource company with a large portfolio of highly prospective exploration properties and seasoned technical team, but facing relatively difficult industry financial conditions, management believes it is important to prioritize our projects. We can best build shareholder value by focusin g our efforts and financial resources on those projects holding out t he most promise and periodically dropping projects which do not demonstrate sufficiently positive results to warrant our continued development efforts. As part of this ongoing process of review and assessment, management has elected to abandon further development and relinquish its licenses with respect to the Tsau Diamond Project in Botswana and the Namibian Diamond Project. Exploration of such projects to date has failed to achieve the necessary milestones deemed critical by management for continued development. Abandonment of these projects will allow us to concentrate our drilling and exploration activities on our highest priority gold and metals projects as well as to continue to review other opportunities for potential acquisition.
The Tsau Diamond Project covers approximately 2890 sq. km in Western Botswana. If kimberl ites were present within the property, they could be the source of an important, but unexplained, diamond-G10 garnet soil anomaly to the northwest, near the village of Tsumkwe, in NE Namibia. Two prominent photo-features were identified as possible kimberlites warranting investigation. In addition, high resolution aeromagnetic data covering the property was screened, both in-house and by an independent geophysical contractor, and a number of bulls-eye magnetic anomalies were identified. Satellite imagery and shuttle radar (SRTM) were used to screen for further follow-up targets.
Soil sampling and ground geophysical surveys (magnetic and gravity) were carried out over the priority magnetic and remote sensing targets, and these data were used to rank the targets for core drilling. Four magnetic targets were drilled with no kim berlites being intersected and all of such holes being terminated in basement mafic rocks. Holes were also drilled into the two priority photo-features and these also failed to intersect kimberlites. These terminated in Lower Karoo age glacial sediments. The presence of calcrete units encountered in the drilling suggests that they developed beneath former Kalahari pans (shallow epithermal lakes) and became low positive features during subsequent erosion. Thus, rather than being the expression of sub-Kalahari kimberlite pipes, the photo-features may in fact be unusual geomorphic features reflecting an inverted topography. Further, a regional geomorphic analysis suggested that the diffuse scatter of kimberlitic minerals which had been recovered may be associated with the shoreline of an ancient lake in the area. As a result, management has concluded further exploration would not be appropriate for the Company and we have elected to let our Tsau Prospecting Licenses expire on March 31, 2012.
The Namibian Diamond Project covers approximately 6268 sq. km in Eastern Namibia, immediately south of the Tsumkwe anomaly and adjacent to the Tsau license area in Botswana. Aeromagnetic data and remote sensing data led to a total of 18 targets for follow up, which included ground geophysics and soil sampling. Peridotitic (G9) garnets were recovered over two of the magnetic targets, but none of the remote sensing targets. In addition, no kimberlitic ilmenites were recovered, often indicative of a secondary anomaly. Core drilling undertaken over four of the most prospective targets did not intersect any kimberlites. As a result of the foregoing, management has elected to abandon this Project.
Exploration of the Tsau and Namibian Diamond Projects was supervised by Dr. Andy Moore (Pr. Sci. Nat.), Vi ce President of Exploration, who is a Qualified Person with 30 years’ experience in exploration in Southern Africa. Dr. Moore reviewed and approved the contents of this Press Release.
The Company is an exploratory resource company with diversified mineral properties in Southern, East and West Africa. It is exploring its properties in Mozambique, Ghana and Kenya for gold and other metals and it is undertaking exploration in Botswana and Namibia for diamonds, gold and other metals. In Mozambique the Company has approximately 230 sq. km. under license for gold and metals under an agreement with another company. In Ghana it has 28.9 sq. km. under license for g old. In Kenya it has approximately 850 sq. km. under license for gold and metals, and a further 737 sq. km. of gold and other minerals licenses under agreements with two other companies. The Company’s operations in Mozambique are carried out through its subsidiary PAM Mocambique Limitada and its operations in Ghana are carried out through its subsidiary AQ Ghana Gold Limited. Its operations in Kenya are being carried out through its operating subsidiary AQ Kenya Gold Limited. Its operations in Botswana are carried out through its operating subsidiary, PAM Botswana (Pty) Ltd.; its operations in Namibia are carried out through its operating subsidiary PAM Minerals Namibia (Pty) Ltd. The Company has its executive offices in Vancouver, Canada. The Company was incorporated under the laws of the Province of British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2008 and received certain southern African assets in a spin off transaction related to the acquisition of Pan African Mining Corp. by Asia Thai Mining Co., Ltd.