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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO's Geophysical Surveys Add New Prospective Targets at Mana

Airborne Magnetic and Ground IP Surveys Refine 2011 Exploration Targets Receipt of Bombouela Nord Permit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SEMAFO's Geophysical Surveys Add New Prospective Targets at Mana09:03 EST Tuesday, January 18, 2011MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2011) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) announced completion of a 985-km² magnetic survey across most peripheral groups of permits and an extensive induced polarization ("IP") survey over the Nyafé-Fofina area at its flagship Mana Mine in Burkina Faso. The integration of the new airborne magnetic survey with the 2009 survey previously completed across the central permits reveals prospective magnetic trends over most of the new permits. This area includes the Massala and Saoura blocks where high-grade grab sample values ranging up to 13.8 g/t Au were obtained coincident with some of the trends observed. The IP survey over the Nyafé-Fofina area reveals new key structural information which will guide the 2011 program in this area.The ultra high-resolution low elevation helicopter-borne magnetic geophysical survey virtually doubles our magnetic coverage in the area. Important magnetic trends reminiscent of the Wona Trend (Figure 1) are observed within the newly covered areas. At our recently acquired permit site, Bombouela Nord, Trend 1 seems to represent the north extension of the Wona Trend, while at Mana East we identified a new trend which merits further investigation. The Massala and Saoura permits located immediately north of the central group of permits covers a 15-kilometer long gold-bearing volcanosedimentary unit, which demonstrates similarities to the Wona host rocks. Extensive old artisanal mining activity is evident at various localitions within the Massala and Saoura areas. In addition, SEMAFO grab sampling completed along a 12-kilometer section of the more extensive corridor returned many high-grade values ranging up to 13.8 g/t Au. The new survey clearly shows the continuation of the Oula Trend on to the Massala and Saoura areas, while two other trends (Massala-Saoura Trend 1 and Massala-Saoura Trend 2) were also identified. Historical gold values associated with these trends highlight their potential to host gold deposits. The 2011 exploration program will focus on the priority trends identified herein through our systematic approach that has proven successful in 2010, particularly in the Fofina and Fobiri areas.Although the magnetic survey only shows subtle trends associated with the Nyafé Deposit and the Fofina-Fobiri Zones, ground IP surveying provides additional geophysical information that supports the structural and lithological environment within the Fofina-Fobiri area. The rocks in the Fofina-Fobiri area show zones of variable resistivity and chargeability that appear to suggest open folding of the different lithologies (Figure 2). The Fofina Zone and associated V Zones appear to be located near the hinge of one fold, while the Fobiri and Nyafé Zones are related to their flanks. The Fofina Zone is more precisely located within a distinct resistive zone within the broad chargeable zone. Other anomalies of this type have been identified near the fold hinges. The fold hinges as such remain untested by either drilling or auger sampling and are devoid of outcrops. These areas are favorable structural traps for hydrothermal fluids and hence gold mineralization. The 2011 exploration program will include auger drilling over the fold hinges and subsequent drill testing."The new geophysical data will help bring our understanding of the structural and geological environment to a new level," stated Michel Crevier, SEMAFO's Geology Manager. "We already foresee new targets developing based on these survey results and expect the upcoming HELITEM survey to contribute even more. Coupled with the extensive 2010 drill program information, the exploration crew is now focused on refining the interpretation and establishing what should become an exciting 2011 program for SEMAFO at Mana."The 302-km² airborne HELITEM electromagnetic ("EM") survey over part of the central Mana group of properties is expected to commence during Q1 2011.SEMAFO is also pleased to report that it has been granted the new Bombouela Nord permit, which is continuous and to the north of the current group of permits (Figure 1). The Bombouela Nord permit covers an additional 115 square kilometers of favorable Hounde greenstone rocks.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, Deputy Geology 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.About SEMAFO 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 in West Africa. 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 "prospective", "trends", "reminiscent", "seems", "further", "investigation", "potential", "will", "supports", "committed", "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 historical gold values associated with the identified trends to host gold deposits, 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 our 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 www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law. Figure 1 and Figure 2 are available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Figures839.pdfFOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Benoit La Salle, CASEMAFOPresident & CEO514-744-4408Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408blasalle@semafo.comORSofia St LaurentSEMAFOCommunications514-744-4408Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408sstlaurent@semafo.com