MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced the discovery of the new Yaho gold zone, located 4.5 kilometers southwest of the Fofina zone and 20 kilometers southwest of the Mana Mill. Three Reverse Circulation ("RC") drilling sections were carried out to date across this wide alteration zone with each section returning wide, significant grade intervals such as 2.27 g/t Au across 54 meters (hole MRC10-540 - section 15450N), 2.00 g/t Au across 20 meters (hole MRC10-542 – section 15450N), 1.37 g/t Au across 16 meters (hole MRC10-514 – section 15650N), 4.59 g/t Au (10.73 g/t Au uncut) across 10 meters (hole MRC10-526 – section 15850N), and 1.88 g/t Au across 88 meters (hole MRC10-529 – section 15850N).

"The new Yaho discovery shows outstanding widths, surpassing those originally obtained at Wona," stated Michel Crevier, SEMAFO's Geology Manager and Qualified Person. "It is also consistent with our current interpretation. Located near a regional fold hinge, the Yaho zone demonstrates that the fold hinges could represent an ideal structural environment for gold deposition, as observed at some world-class deposits elsewhere in West Africa and around the world."

A follow-up program on the Yaho zone is currently in progress in order to trace its extensions both north and south of the discovery area. We will subsequently perform a delineation program in order to establish its true economic potential.

"This new discovery is extremely strategic and timely. It will complement the Fofina - Fobiri discovery in our analysis of production alternatives, which is scheduled to take place at year end," said Benoit Desormeaux, SEMAFO's Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "This new discovery has the potential to rapidly add significant quantities of ore on the southern part of the Mana property."

The three RC sections were completed in late 2010, as a follow-up to auger drilling anomalies. Results from these sections were received in January and February 2011 and therefore have not yet been included to our December 31, 2010 reserves and resources estimate. The sections are 200 meters apart and each one has returned significant grades over large widths. The best results so far, come from section 15450N, the southern-most section drilled to date. Moreover, holes MRC10-499 and MRC10-540 ended in mineralization, therefore leading us to believe that the reported mineralization will most likely be wider. Figure 1 presents a plan view of the discovery and its relationship with current geological data, while Figure 2 illustrates a cross-section looking north.

Yaho Area Reverse-Circulation Drilling Highlights
DDH No. Section From To AU / Length**
MRC10-499 15450 N 139 156 1.58 g/t/17 m***
MRC10-540 15450 N 107 148 1.46 g/t/41 m***
MRC10-541 15450 N 88 142 2.27 g/t/54 m
MRC10-542 15450 N 11 23 1.28 g/t/12 m
    48 53 1.35 g/t/5 m
    66 73 1.91 g/t/7 m
    82 102 2.00 g/t/20 m
MRC10-543 15450 N 132 139 1.83 g/t/7 m
MRC10-544 15450 N 6 16 1.05 g/t/10 m
MRC10-544 15450 N 87 96 1.68 g/t/9 m
MRC10-507 15650 N 120 124 2.29 g/t/4 m
MRC10-509 15650 N 4 10 1.17 g/t/6 m
    135 145 1.16 g/t/10 m
MRC10-510 15650 N 91 98 2.07 g/t/7 m
    145 155 1.79 g/t/10 m
MRC10-512 15650 N 80 87 1.67 g/t/7 m
MRC10-513 15650 N 65 72 2.89 g/t/7 m
MRC10-514 15650 N 5 21 1.37 g/t/16 m
Including 17 21 2.73 g/t/4 m
MRC10-526 15850 N 93 103 4.59 g/t/10 m
        (10.73 g/t uncut)*
    112 125 1.23 g/t/13 m
MRC10-527 15850 N 90 97 2.43 g/t/7 m
    114 123 2.20 g/t/9 m
MRC10-528 15850 N 95 109 2.60 g/t/14 m
MRC10-529 15850 N 5 93 1.10 g/t/88 m
Including 18 43 1.34 g/t/25 m
Including 55 79 1.59 g/t/24 m

* All values above 15 g/t Au are cut at 15 g/t Au as per Wona type deposits.

** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.

*** Hole ended in mineralization.

The Yaho zone appears to follows a lithological contact between mafic volcanic flows and a sequence of interbedded graphitic sediments and intermediate tuffs. A wide zone of alteration, measuring up to 80 meters thick and dipping moderately to the west, hosts the mineralization (Figure 2). It consists of sericite-silica alteration coupled with pyrite-arsenopyrite mineralization, similar to what is observed at Wona. In fact, based on current geological and geophysical data, the Yaho host stratigraphy appears to continue north before turning northeast towards the Wona host stratigraphy (Figure 1).

The exploration programs were designed and managed locally by Dofinta Bondé and David Lalonde, Mana Mineral's Exploration Chief Geologists and Richard Roy P.Geo, Exploration Manager, and guided and supervised under the direction of Michel Crevier, P.Geo MScA, Geology Manager and SEMAFO's Qualified Person who has reviewed this press release for accuracy and compliance with National Instrument 43-101.

For RC and AC drilling, all individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of rock chips homogenized and riffle-split to an approximately 2-kilogram subsample, which is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Chemex laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Each sample (RC and AC) is fire-assayed for gold content on a 50-gram sub-sample at the same ALS Chemex laboratories. In addition to ALS Chemex's own QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) program, an internal quality control and quality assurance program is in place throughout the sampling program, using blind duplicates, blanks and recognized industry standards.


SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities

Caution Concerning Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "could", "follow up", "subsequently", "potential", "add", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", "growth" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability of the Yaho zone to demonstrate that the regional fold hinges represent an ideal structural environment for gold deposition, our ability to perform a delineation program in order to establish the Yaho zone's true economic potential, the ability of this new discovery to rapidly add significant quantities of ore on the southern part of the Mana property, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2009 Annual MD&A, as updated in the 2010 First Quarter MD&A, 2010 Second Quarter MD&A and 2010 Third Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at These documents are also available on our website at SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

Maps are available at the following address:

Contact Information: SEMAFO
Benoit La Salle, FCA
President & CEO
Sofia St Laurent