Shares in Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) jumped more than 5% on news that that channel sampling had confirmed the presence of high-grade iron mineralisation at the company’s wholly-owned iron and gold exploration licence in Sierra Leone.

High-grade assay results were returned from two channel samples collected in the Area 1 target zone of the licence, located in the northern part of the Sula-Kangari Greenstone Belt.

A 2,000-metre diamond drill programme was scheduled to test the strike continuity, thickness and grade of the banded iron formation (BIF) in Area 1. In line with this, Sula has signed a rig contract and drilling is expected to commence before the end of the second quarter of 2013.

“I am delighted that these high-grade channel sample results highlight the iron prospectivity within our licence area,” commented Sula’s non-executive technical director Chris Wilson. “With results of 18 metres at 51.83 % iron and 22 metres at 56.22 % iron, Area 1 remains a high-priority target for our iron exploration.