OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2011) - Orezone Gold Corporation (TSX:ORE) is pleased to announce a significant new uranium discovery in Niger, West Africa by its subsidiary, Brighton Energy Limited ("Brighton"). Brighton completed a 30-hole, 5,538 m reconnaissance drilling program on its 482 km2 Zéline 1 exploration permit that is located 25 km to the north of AREVA's open pit SOMAIR mine, which together with the COMINAK underground mine, have produced approximately 240 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) since 1971. The drilling program targeted a 20 km² area to a depth of up to 250 m. Results indicate a significant presence of uranium in the same sequence of Carboniferous rocks along with a similar structural setting to that of the neighboring mines that have produced uranium for the last 40 years. Brighton is owned 67% by Orezone with the remaining interest owned by private and institutional investors.

The exploratory drill program consisted of vertical holes to an average depth of 185 m within a drill pattern of 800 m by 800 m. Twenty six of the holes intercepted uranium mineralization above a lower cut-off of eU3O8 = 100 ppm (0.01%), including fourteen holes that intersected more than 200 ppm of eU3O8. The Guezouman Formation, which is the host rock of the neighboring Cominak mine and Madaouela deposits, was consistently well mineralized within a 6 km² zone at depths between 133 to 170 m and trending to the northwest where it remains open and untested. Immediately to the west of this zone, significant uranium mineralization was intersected over an additional 2.5 km² at depths between 28 to 77 m in an easterly-trending zone, typically at the contact between the Madaouela-Tarat Formation and the underlying Tchinezogue Formation, host to the bulk of the Somair mine deposits, and within the Tchinezogue formation. These new discoveries are not only considered to be shallow and amenable to open pit mining, they are also largely associated with reduced rocks typically amenable to standard extractive processes.

Table 1 Summary statistics, intervals above a eU3O8 cut-off of 200 ppm (0.02%)

Formation Number
of drill holes
Vertical Depth (m)
Thickness (m)
  Average eU3O8
Tarat 2   35.5   1.30   370
Tchinezogue 2   62.3   1.05   444
Guezouman 10   154.2   0.74   499

"Results of this caliber in just the first drill program indicate the potential of this basin to yield additional deposits of uranium," said Ron Little CEO for Brighton and Orezone. "Brighton has a well-located 4000 km2 land package and a seasoned team of nationals to carry out its ongoing drill programs. With analysts forecasting a fundamental shortage in uranium supply over the next decade, the stakeholders of Brighton and Orezone are well positioned to benefit from our continued efforts."

Two drill rigs have now commenced drilling on Brighton's Assaouas 1 exploration permit further to the south near the town of Agadez, which is the major center in the region. Brighton plans to return to the Zéline 1 permit after the Assaouas 1 program to further extend the definition of the new discovery. Brighton is well funded to complete its $3 million exploration program and plans to launch an initial public offering later in 2011. Please visit Orezone's website for further information including maps and sections. Brighton will launch its own website under next quarter.

Cuttings were collected for each 1-m interval of the mud rotary boreholes and a detailed geological log and interpretation was established by ULC Afrique de l'Ouest. ULC also performed the down-hole logging of the radioactivity, resistivity and hole diameter using a GeoVista logging unit at a sampling rate of one reading per ten centimeters. This program was executed under the supervision of Dr. Pascal Marquis, V.P. Exploration for Orezone, who is a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 and approved the technical information in this release.

Orezone is an exploration and development company with more than 15 years experience in West Africa. Orezone delineated, permitted, and developed Burkina Faso's largest gold deposit (Essakane) before it was bought by IAMGOLD in a transaction worth approximately $350 million. Orezone continues to focus on developing the rest of its pipeline of advanced gold projects including Bomboré, the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Burkina Faso. Orezone's mission is to create wealth by discovering and developing resources in an efficient and responsible manner for the benefit of its shareholders and other stakeholders.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. 

Contact Information: Orezone
613-241-3699 or Toll Free: 888-673-0663
Pascal Marquis
V.P. Exploration
Ron Little