African Battery Metals Plc, the AIM quoted African focused exploration company, is pleased to provide an update on its exploration programme at its recently acquired cobalt-copper interests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”).
Roger Murphy, CEO of ABM, commented:
“We are excited to be on the ground and exploring at Kisinka, starting with a cost effective systematic exploration programme which I am confident will deliver encouraging results.
Kisinka provides us with our first exposure to cobalt-copper projects in the centre of the world-class Katangan Copperbelt, which hosts approximately 50 per cent of the world’s known cobalt resources. The area surrounding Kisinka is home to at least seven mines which whose cumulative cobalt output represents a significant proportion of cobalt production globally. We believe that Kisinka is well placed to add to this and look forward to updating the market upon initial results of our exploration programme in the near-term.
Whilst we continue to carry out due diligence on the Sakania option, I am pleased to report we are reviewing additional cobalt-copper licences, some of which are closer to Kisinka.
In my view there is no other area of the world with the cobalt resource and simple non-arsenic metallurgy to supply the very strong demand for cobalt forecast by most experts, some of who are calling for a tripling in demand over the next ten years. We strongly believe ABM is well positioned to be a part of this future demand."
Further to the Company’s announcement of 25 January 2018, ABM’s exploration programme on Kisinka (PR12728) commenced on 28 January 2018. Kisinka is situated 30 kilometres east of Lubumbashi, the regional capital, close to seven existing large cobalt-copper mines and numerous small scale operations (fig.1). Kisinka is on the Roan, the geological sequence which hosts most of the DRC's cobalt and copper that is currently being mined by small scale mining operations selling cobalt and copper concentrate to local smelters. Prior to ABM’s acquisition of Kisinka, a number of grab samples were collected from small-scale miners’ pits on the licence by an independent geologist, who reported grades of up to 2.5 per cent. cobalt from a Niton XRF field analyser (the standard equipment used in the field for such analysis).
ABM has commenced a grab sample programme to follow up on these early indications of cobalt mineralisation.
Fig.1. Location of Kisinka (12728 PR) and regional mines circled in pink
Since the commencement of exploration work, a number of clearings have been observed on Kisinka (fig.2), with stunted vegetation. These clearings in the normally denser vegetation are widely used in mineral exploration as they are a sign of soil contamination caused by base metal mineralisation.
ABM has commissioned an auger programme on Kisinka. The equipment is on site and augering will start this week. Augering is a fast, efficient and highly cost effective means of extracting material from up to 20 metres below surface and therefore closer to the primary rock, which hosts the mineralisation. Depending on the ground conditions, augering is an attractive exploration activity as up to 100 metres per day can be drilled. The targets to be explored by ABM’s auger programme are:
Fig. 3 Kisinka licence with Grand Conglomerate at contact between pink & dark brown rocks
ABM has been approached by two groups with potentially attractive cobalt-copper licences available on similar financial terms to those of Kisinka and Sakania. Both licences have evidence of copper-cobalt mineralisation and both have the advantage of a period of a few months to assess the projects before any commitments are made and any payments are required. ABM is conducting due diligence work on both at the moment.
Further to previous announcements of ABM’s intention to seek a farm-out or JV partner for the further development of its wholly owned Ferensola Gold Project (“FGP”) in Sierra Leone, ABM is pleased to update that one interested party is currently carrying out due diligence on Ferensola under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), with a second interested group expected to be provided with access to the project’s information shortly. ABM will provide regular updates as the situation progresses in due course.
20 February 2018