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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO's Fobiri Area Returns Mineralization over 1.4 Km at Mana: Values up to 2.66 g/t Over 22 Meters-Zones Remain Open to the Southwest and at Depth

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

SEMAFO's Fobiri Area Returns Mineralization over 1.4 Km at Mana: Values up to 2.66 g/t Over 22 Meters-Zones Remain Open to the Southwest and at Depth09:36 EST Tuesday, February 01, 2011MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2011) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced the results of preliminary systematic follow-up drilling carried out on the Fobiri zones, located 14 kilometers southwest of the Mana Mill in Burkina Faso. A series of sections using a 200-meter spacing grid were completed over the original discovery (reference: SEMAFO's press release dated August 3, 2010). Reverse-circulation ("RC") and core drilling has returned continuous mineralization from three separate zones, 150 meters apart and over a strike length of more than 1,400 meters. Values obtained include 2.66 g/t Au over 22 meters (hole MRC10-383 - Zone FOB3), 2.75 g/t Au over 12 meters (hole WDC-259 - Zone FOB3), 1.84 g/t Au over 36 meters (MRC10-312 - Zone FOB2), 2.78 g/t Au over 8 meters (MRC10-382 - Zone FOB1), and 2.44 g/t Au over 10 meters (WDC259 - Zone FOB2). In addition, the three zones remain open and unexplored towards the southwest where previous auger drilling produced anomalous results.Follow-up drilling over the Fobiri discovery commenced in August and was completed in December 2010. Although assay results remain pending on one northeast section (drill holes WDC261 and WDC263), the results thus far clearly show a series of three parallel zones trending northeast and dipping steeply towards the northwest. Highlights from the three zones (FOB1, FOB2, and FOB3) are presented in the table below.Reverse-Circulation Core Drilling Highlights Fobiri AreaDDH No.*ZoneFromToAu / Length**WDC259FOB1118.0121.03.16 g/t / 3.0 mWDC259FOB2182.0192.02.44 g/t / 10.0 mIncluding182.0188.03.39 g/t / 6.0 mWDC259FOB3331.0343.02.75 g/t / 12.0 mIncluding336.0339.04.90 g/t / 3.0 mMRC10-312FOB166.072.01.41 g/t / 6.0 mMRC10-312FOB281.0117.01.84 g/t / 36.0 mIncluding84.092.03.02 g/t / 8.0 mIncluding104.0114.02.50 g/t / 10.0 mMRC10-382FOB197.0105.02.78 g/t / 8.0 mIncluding97.0101.03.96 g/t / 4.0 mMRC10-383FOB294.0107.03.38 g/t / 13.0 mMRC10-383FOB3124.0146.02.66 g/t / 22.0 mIncluding124.0133.04.48 g/t / 9.0 mMRC10-384FOB361.063.03.33 g/t / 2.0 m * WDC-259 is a core hole while all MRC are RC drill holes.** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.The short distance between the zones, their significant strike length, consistent good widths, and good continuity are all factors which will enhance the economic potential in this area. The Fofina and Fobiri areas along with the area surrounding the Nyafé open pit represented a major target in our 2010 exploration program and our litho-structural understanding has developed significantly since (Figure 1). Based on recent drilling and a ground IP survey (reference: SEMAFO's press release dated January 18, 2011), the Fobiri and Fofina zones appear to be located along the limbs of a fold at contact between intermediate to felsic tuffs with fine sediments, locally graphitic. These units are underlain and overlain by massive basalts found at the core of the folds. The Fobiri mineralized corridor seems to continue to the northeast towards the Nyafé Deposit, suggesting that the mineralization is post-folding and controlled by deformation and hydrothermal alteration which has followed rheological weaknesses along the folded stratigraphy. Based on this interpretation, the area near the fold hinge towards the southwest of both the Fobiri and Fofina zones represent excellent exploration targets for the 2011 program.Following the press release on the Fofina Zone dated December 2, 2010, a series of RC and core holes were added to confirm the new interpretation of the Fofina and V zones. The new drilling crossed the different zones where expected and highlights from this short program are presented below.Reverse-Circulation and Core Drilling Highlights Fofina ZoneDDH No.*ZoneFromToAu / Length**MRC10-435Fofina6.018.01.70 g/t / 12.0 mIncluding6.09.04.54 g/t / 3.0 mMRC10-435V143.047.01.47 g/t / 4.0 mMRC10-436V1108.0116.01.05 g/t / 8.0 mMRC10-437Fofina126.0129.01.77 g/t / 3.0 mWDC258Fofina333.0338.010.60 g/t / 5.0 m * WDC-258 is a core hole while all MRC are RC drill holes.** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.Core hole WDC258 is considered very promising as it represents the south western most cut along the Fofina to date and therefore suggests additional potential in this direction."The 2010 Exploration Program was very successful and is expected to add significant mineral resources to the property" states Michel Crevier, SEMAFO's Geology Manager. "We have brought the Fofina-Fobiri area from a conceptual greenfield target to a major discovery area within one year. Our 2011 exploration activities will include a systematic delineation program on both zones in order to upgrade their confidence in order to increase our measured and indicated resources and ultimately bring new reserves at Mana."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.For core drilling, all individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of core which was sawed in half. Half of the core is kept on site for reference and its counterpart is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Chemex laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. For RC and AC drilling, all individual samples represent approximately one-meter in length of rock chips homogenized and riffle-split to an approximately 2kg subsample which is sent for preparation and gold assaying at the ALS Chemex laboratories in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Each sample (core, 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.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 "pending", "will", "enhance", "appear", "seems", "suggesting", "promising", "additional", "potential", "expected", "add", "increase", "ultimately", "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 the short distance between zones FOB1, FOB2 and FOB3, their significant strike length, consistent good widths, and good continuity to enhance the economic potential in this area, the ability of core hole WDC258 to identify new potential south west of Fofina, the ability of our 2011 exploration activities to increase our measured and indicated reserves and ultimately bring new reserves at Mana, 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. A map is available at the following address: http://file.marketwire.com/release/sfo_map.pdfFOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Benoit La Salle, CASEMAFOPresident & CEO514-744-4408Toll-Free:1-888-744-4408blasalle@semafo.comORCommunicationsSofia St Laurent514-744-4408Toll-Free:1-888-744-4408sstlaurent@semafo.com