The Kashitu geological exploration programme announced on 30 June 2016, was designed to confirm and follow up on the historic work previously undertaken in the area covered by the Large Scale Mining Licence (“LSML”) by Zambia Anglo American (“ZamAnglo”), Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (“ZCCM”) Billiton Development Zambia Ltd., (“Billiton”) and Teal Mining and Exploration (“Teal”).
The objective of Kashitu programme is to investigate whether, within the LSML area, there is potentially an additional near surface ore source to exploit. The Company was looking to try and identify an easily mineable, high-grade surface alluvial Zinc ore deposit amenable to blending with the Company’s tailings and being treated in the Process Plant currently under construction at Kabwe.
The Kashitu section lies in the south east sector of the Company’s LSML where previously ZamAnglo, ZCCM, Billiton and Teal had undertaken geological exploration programmes between 1958 and 2006 comprising, soil sampling, pitting, reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling. All resulting, available geological data now acquired by the Company from these four campaigns has been captured and consolidated on the Company’s geological data base and analysed.
In the main, all these earlier exploration programmes focussed on the discovery of high-grade zinc deposits at >10m depth (deep zinc-sulphide ores), or secondary zinc willemite ores in the region 3-10m depth. High grade zinc alluvial material which had been identified in the upper 3m during these previous campaigns at Kashitu had been largely overlooked.
Based on the results from these earlier exploration campaigns, the Company commenced, in October 2016, an auger soil sampling programme comprising 231 holes up to a depth of 2m, on a 50m x 50m grid over an area of 1 km x 0.5 km to investigate potential high-grade surface expressions of Zinc associated with the upper alluvial material.
Field conditions restricted sample drilling to 183 holes, the results of which have enabled the Company to delineate three distinct surface mineralised zones as follows:-
An illustration of the results can be seen below.
Independent random check assays on behalf of the Company have been carried out by Misenge Environmental and Technical Services Ltd, Kabwe on selected samples to verify the Zinc, Lead, Vanadium and Silver grades.
From a total of 183 samples, silver was detected in 19 samples, each of which was submitted for independent assay checks. Evidence suggests that higher silver grades show a strong correlation with higher Zinc grades. The highest grade silver assayed was 16.8 g/t Ag associated with 8.4% Zinc using XRF analysis.
Lead and Vanadium grades did not exceed 2% and 0.15% respectively.
The Board considers these results to be extremely encouraging, allowing room for a reinterpretation of theories and the Kashitu mineralising models.
This conclusion is supported by the presence of high-grade zinc at surface with preliminary auger samples assaying up to 21% Zinc and the delineation of a high-grade zone 400m x 130m within the target drill area consistently assaying greater than 2.5% Zinc in every sample.
The Board believes that the identification by the Company of a NE-SW trending area of elevated Zinc-in-soils, open to the south, could be related to a Kabwe style and previously un-identified structural trend.
As a result, the Company intends to explore whether there is a possible extension to this high grade Zinc zone and undertake a second phase of auger drilling, as described below, to the south and east, still within its LSML. This work has started and is being carried out by Enviro Processing Ltd’s geologist under the supervision of BMR’s Group Geologist, Ms Steph Wilk.