Since my last letter went out in early February, we have made significant progress on several fronts. Exciting drill results have generated a big increase in market interest in our Sikasso properties, particularly at the large and impressive Farabakoura target zone. These results helped support our successful Private Placement in late April, when we raised more than $2.7 million, primarily from our existing shareholder group, but also from a handful of new “strategic” partners.
With ample funding to explore aggressively for the rest of this year and into 2020, Dr. Madani Diallo and his team set out to prioritize our fieldwork. They reviewed more than 40 high-quality targets identified by the extensive work conducted in 2018 and completed at the end of February of this year. The result was a ‘three-pronged’ campaign focusing on artisanal workings at Farabakoura-Kabangoué, Sodala, and on the nine workings on the Yanfolila South block. These are all large zones with excellent indications of gold mineralization.
We have recently completed the first stage of reverse circulation drilling at Farabakoura, roughly 2,000 metres, and we are launching an additional 3,000-metre program, which is due to be completed before the rainy season begins.
All of this activity and the related technical data have been thoroughly reported in a dozen press releases, as well as in our first shareholder conference call in early April. I have also met and spoken directly with dozens of Compass shareholders about our work, results, and objectives for the remainder of the year. While we have attracted the interest of many new and prospective shareholders through the financing and reporting process, we remain a relatively small, closely held company. Compared to most of our peers in the gold exploration space, we still have a small number of shares outstanding, (about 39 million post- financing) and we estimate roughly 80% of those shares are held by fewer than 100 shareholders.
In this note, rather than repeating the content of all of those conversations or our press releases, I will offer you some insight into our strategic thinking about the opportunities and challenges we are tackling in the coming months.