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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO Drills 4.29 g/t Au over 25 Meters at Mana's Fofina Area

Consistent Values and Widths Confirm High-Grade Mineralization

Monday, July 18, 2011

SEMAFO Drills 4.29 g/t Au over 25 Meters at Mana's Fofina Area09:44 EDT Monday, July 18, 2011MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 18, 2011) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) is pleased to provide an update on ongoing delineation drilling at Mana's Fofina area, a deposit that was discovered in 2010. Reverse-circulation ("RC") delineation drilling at 25-meter intervals was carried out within the core of the zone in May 2011. To date, we are in receipt of 64 percent of assay results which continue to suggest a high-grade mineralization with some similarities to the gold-producing Nyafé deposit located 3 kilometers east of Fofina (ref. Figure 1). While some assays remain pending, current data supports our original interpretation which remains consistent with the position of most of the new intersections.Fofina Area Reverse-Circulation Drilling Highlights DDH No.Section (N)FromToAu* / Length **MRC11-420208507.032.04.29 g/t/25 m(4.40 g/t uncut)MRC11-4582050081.085.03.35 g/t/4 mMRC11-46220600154.0160.02.63 g/t/6 mMRC11-4632060013.016.02.18 g/t/3 mMRC11-46420600115.0122.07.49 g/t/7 mMRC11-4652060032.034.017.22 g/t/2 m(23.22 g/t uncut)MRC11-4662060032.036.07.49 g/t/4 mMRC11-4682065014.028.02.14 g/t/14 mMRC11-46820650153.0156.02.61 g/t/3 mMRC11-46920650105.0107.09.41 g/t/2 mMRC11-46920650125.0128.02.84 g/t/3 mMRC11-46920650169.0177.019.46 g/t/8 m(24.32 g/t uncut)MRC11-4702065053.054.011.80 g/t/1 mMRC11-4702065062.067.03.16 g/t/5 mMRC11-47020650200.0203.03.26 g/t/3 mMRC11-4712065038.042.01.78 g/t/4 mMRC11-472206508.011.05.70 g/t/3 mMRC11-4722065048.051.04.32 g/t/3 mMRC11-47420800130.0136.04.26 g/t/6 mMRC11-4782080011.014.03.80 g/t/3 m* All assays are cut at 30 g/t as per the Nyafé deposit.** All lengths are measured along the hole axis; additional information is required to determine true widths.In 2011, a total of 8,864 meters (30 holes) have been completed. Tighter spacing was favored due to the number of different parallel zones identified and the undulating nature of the mineralization. In addition, the mineralization has a low structural expression, particularly where the mineralization is narrow or pinched out. The close proximity of the spacing provides a better statistical database which consequently adds to the reliability of the interpretation.A total of eight different zones (Fofina, and V1 to V7) are currently known in the area. At year-end 2010, inferred resources for the eight zones totaled 8,421,300 tons grading 3.15 g/t Au. The objective of the 2011 exploration program is to upgrade the near-surface resources and bring a portion to the reserves."The Fofina zone, our first discovery in 2010, continues to show high grade potential and remains partially open," said Michel Crevier, SEMAFO's Vice-President Exploration and Mine Geology. "Accordingly, this deposit could provide additional flexibility to the Mana strategic plan in the near future. While the Fofina zone doesn't have an obvious visual expression, its grade and stacked geometry will clearly lend to the positive economics of the deposit."Following reception of the remaining assay results, SEMAFO will proceed with a follow-up program to refine the delineation where required and complete metallurgical work in order to provide the technical parameters necessary to establish the economics of the open pit potential of the Fofina deposit.The exploration programs were designed and managed locally by Dofinta Bondé and David Legault, Mana Mineral's Exploration Chief Geologists, David Lalonde, Deputy Exploration Manager, and Richard Roy P Geo, Exploration Manager, and guided and supervised under the direction of Michel Crevier, P.Geo MScA, Vice-President, Exploration and Mine Geology and SEMAFO's Qualified Person who has reviewed this press release for accuracy and compliance with National Instrument 43-101.For RC 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 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 quality assurance/quality control ("QA/QC") program, an internal QA/QC 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. Caution Concerning Forward-looking StatementsThis press release may contain 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 put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "continue", "suggest", "pending", "objective", "could", "will", "potential", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", "growth" and other similar 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 64 percent of assay result to suggest a high-grade mineralization having some similarities to the Nyafé deposit, the ability to meet the objective of our 2011 exploration program, the ability to establish the economics of the open pit potential of the Fofina deposit, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, variation in the price of gold and currencies, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays and other risks described in the SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2010 Annual MD&A, as updated in SEMAFO's 2011 First 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 is available on Marketwire's website at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/SEMAFO0718_fig1.jpg.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Benoit La Salle, FCASEMAFOPresident & CEO514-744-4408Toll-Free:1-888-744-4408blasalle@semafo.comORCommunicationsSofia St Laurent514-744-4408Toll-Free:1-888-744-4408sstlaurent@semafo.com