The 411.7 km2 Daro licence is situated in the Tigray Regional State of northern Ethiopia, approximately 95 km west of the Tigray-Afar Cu-Ag project and 70 km east of the recently granted Zager project. Daro lies 100 km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 570 km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Mekele has a regional airport as does the nearby town of Axum, and year-round access to the licence area is provided by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads..
Daro is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa terrane of the Arabian Nubian Shield, a highly prospective mobile belt of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks which stretches across northern and western Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and across the western Gulf. A band of mafic to ultramafic rocks bisects the licence from southwest to northeast, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of ancient oceanic crust and seafloor sediments, deposited in an island arc setting. Historical data compilation of Daro, undertaken by the French governmental Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, has defined a number of marker lithologies and structures that are considered prospective for VMS deposits. These include the presence of bimodal volcanics and associated sediments, mafic and ultramafic lithologies which conform to an ophiolitic sequence, as well as the presence of extensive chert horizons. The Nakfa Terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. These include Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. 190 km northwest of Daro, the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 100 km north of Daro and the Harvest and Adyabo VMS projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX-V:EAM) 35 km west of Daro.
Daro was selected following an extensive process of regional target definition. This work included a review of historic mineral occurrences, geological maps and structural data as well as satellite-borne remote sensing data and detailed ASTER analysis. The licence contains a significant northeast-southwest striking ophiolite complex at least 13 km in length and hosts a number of major shear zones and thrust belts.
Daro contains the Teklil prospect, a 2.5 km long and 200 m wide target which is open along strike. Teklil hosts a series of alluvial and hard-rock gold workings as well as in-situ copper-bearing gossans. A 2 kg sample of gossanous float from Teklil yielded 34.3% Cu and also contained 0.5 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag and 374 ppm Zn. Elsewhere at Teklil, in-situ gossans have returned assays of 7.51 % Cu, 3.09 % Cu and 2.79 % Cu as well as anomalous zinc (857 ppm) and up to 1.01 g/t Au. The prospect has also returned further float samples with high copper and silver assays, including 24 % Cu, and 203 g/t Ag alongside elevated lead up to 0.7 % Pb.
A reconnaissance gravity survey has also been completed at Teklil by MHW Geo-Surveys International Inc. comprising four 600 m long lines, each separated by 100 m, with stations located at 25 m intervals along each line. Results confirm the presence of a potentially significant gravity anomaly at the southern end of the prospect, in the vicinity of a gossan which returned 6.59 % Cu and 1.06 g/t Au. Boudinaged and haematitic jasperoid in the vicinity is interpreted to be an exhalite chert, indicating a likely seafloor vent setting which may form a potential cap to a VMS system.
Approximately 4 km southwest of Teklil, the company has discovered the Wedihazo prospect, where copper-bearing metasedimentary rocks have been observed discontinuously for approximately 250 m and which are up to 15 m wide in places. Prospecting grab samples have returned assays including 1.72 % Cu and 1.19 g/t Au with an article of float 500 m downslope containing 22.3 % Cu and 0.24 g/t Au.
Simret is the third prospect at Daro and located c. 3 km south of Teklil. Rock-chip samples from quartz veins have assayed up to 944 g/t, 540 g/t, 277 g/t and 191 g/t Ag, with these results also coinciding with elevated gold (up to 3.55 g/t Au) and lead (2.7 % Pb) as well as anomalous zinc (0.13 % Zn) and copper (0.33 % Cu). This mineralisation association here also suggests the potential for a VMS system.
The licence is also prospective for orogenic lode gold mineralisation. An early stage stream sediment sampling programme established two key drainages as gold-bearing with numerous alluvial workings being mapped along a 9.5 km section of the Leto river, some of which occuring as abundant closely spaced pits over areas up to 200 m long and 100 m wide.
Two prospects have been defined on the basis of this survey: Wedi Keshi, where a NNE-trending kaolinised quartz-feldspar porphyry intrusion has been mapped (2 km long and up to 300 m wide) with hard-rock workings on the eastern margin targeting quartz veins that returned 14.1 g/t, 8.5 g/t and 7.5 g/t Au; and Keren, where two samples of quartz found in float have assayed at 91 g/t and 52 g/t Au, as well as narrow quartz veins with carbonate-pyrite-silica alteration halos returning up to 10.35 g/t Au.