Ben Turney, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources (LON:KAV) Interview & Company Update

Kavango Resources to enter “Year of Discovery” on a high after delivering its most exciting KSZ results to date


In an early Christmas present to investors, Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) has revealed the strongest evidence yet that it could be on track to hit vast amounts of metal mineralisation at its Kalahari Suture Zone (“KSZ”) project. Late last Friday, the explorer not only confirmed the presence of its major conductor drill target at the Botswana-based licences, but also that the conductor is stronger that it had previously modelled.

With drilling set to re-commence right away in the New Year, Kavango has now done everything it can to kick off its self-described “Year of Discovery” with as big a bang as possible.

Building up a picture of B1

Kavango, one of Botswana’s largest landholders, is on the hunt for large deposits of copper, nickel, and platinum group metals (“PGMS”) across its enormous KSZ licence area. Its efforts are being driven by the area’s striking geological resemblance to the Norilsk Mining Centre in Siberia, alone responsible for 90% of Russia’s nickel reserves, 55% of its copper, and virtually all of its PGMs.

Currently, the company’s primary focus is an area known as the Great Red Spot, where it is using state-of-the-art surveying and drilling methods to follow up on encouraging early signs of mineralisation found in the early 2000s. Specifically, its target is the B1 conductor, which presents a position, size, shape, orientation, and conductance consistent with large-scale nickel, copper, and PGE mineralisation within what are known as “Karoo-age” rocks.

Having already completed an initial borehole near to B1, which mapped out layers of rock at depth and confirmed sulphide mineralisation, Kavango is currently drilling a second hole to intersect the conductor directly. And now, as announced on Friday, the company has received highly encouraging results from an initial downhole electromagnetic survey covering the 350m it has drilled so far.

The work, completed by Kavango’s partner Spectral Geophysics, confirmed that the drill hole is positioned optimally to intersect the centre of B1 at an estimated depth of between 525m and 575m beneath surface.

But perhaps most excitingly, surveying has also indicated that B1 has a conductance of 11,000 Siemens, an increase of 37.5% from the originally modelled response announced back in July. For context, as the diagram below shows, a conductivity reading of 1,000 to 10,000 Siemens has typically been indicative of the presence of massive sulphides (mainly associated with copper or nickel mineralisation), effectively putting B1 beyond the upper end of the spectrum.

Adding to the intrigue, Spectral’s work also suggests the rock layers through the first 350m of the second hole (KSZDD002) are broadly analogous with that of Kavango’s first Great Red Spot hole, KSZDD002.

Should this trend continue–after all, the two holes are located just 1km apart–then, as the diagram below shows, B1 is right on track to coincide with a thick layer of Karoo-aged rock. It is this rock, or “gabbro”, that presented the optimal conditions for the formation of massive nickel, copper, and PGE sulphide accumulations when huge quantities of magma cooled beneath the earth’s surface billions of years ago.

Furthermore, an extension of this trend would also see B1 extend into a layer of what is known as “Proterozoic gabbro”, which, like Karoo gabbro, also presents a favourable setting for the formation of metal sulphides. The Proterozoic-age rocks are about 1.1billion years old, while the much younger Karoo-age rocks are about 160 millon years old.

The possibility that B1 is “cross formational”, or stacked across multiple layers of rock, is something Kavango first emphasised in November.  At this time, Proterozoic-aged core from KSZDD001 presented magnetic readings up to 23 times higher than what is typically expected from common gabbros. This led the firm to delineate a new, 30km-long target area in the Great Red Spot Proterozoic rock layer, alongside the existing Karoo-aged rock it was already targeting.

Speaking to ShareTalk, Kavango’s chief executive Ben Turney highlighted the concrete potential that Kavango and Spectral’s latest work has solidified:

“Our first hole at the Great Red Spot was a data gathering exercise to prepare us for mobilizing to B1, the conductor that we are now drilling.

Through our modelling, we had already seen the potential for B1 to stretch across stacked layers of prospective rock, a very promising addition to the target’s existing Karoo-aged potential. Now, we have taken the first step towards proving this with evidence, with the new hole presenting a similar stratigraphy.

With B1 providing a much stronger conductance reading than before, and the indications the drill is right on track to hit the centre of the target, Kavango is in a very exciting position as we enter the New Year.”

Entering a new phase

Kavango is an exploration company, and B1 is currently a target, so plenty of questions naturally remain in the KSZ ahead of discovery.

For example, as the company highlighted in its release on Friday, Spectral is currently developing a picture of how B1 is likely to have formed. So far, the firm says the conductor’s orientation and dimensions suggest it was “emplaced by an as yet unspecified intrusive event” and is “unlikely to be formational”.

But the only way to get answers is to continue drilling, and that is exactly what Kavango–along with drilling partners Equity Drilling and Mindea Exploration­–will do in the New Year. KSZDD002 has now been cased for the Christmas period after an extensive team effort to deliver survey results as quickly as possible amid challenging drilling conditions.

The bottom line is this; Friday’s results set Kavango up perfectly for what Turney has publicly described as the firm’s “Year of Discovery” in 2022.

The drilling of B1 is, of course, the market’s primary focus right now. And if even some of the encouraging signs of massive sulphide mineralisation Kavango has encountered to date reach fruition, then there’s no question that it will be a game changer for the company.

But it’s worth remembering that this is not an explorer with all of its eggs in one basket–as Turney himself put it in a recent presentation: “B1 could certainly make Kavango, but it certainly won’t break it.”

Indeed, there’s the vast expanse of additional, highly prospective KSZ licence area, which Kavango intends to explore using the surveying and drilling techniques it has already developed.

There’s the numerous copper/silver prospective licences the company is rapidly progressing alongside Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW) in Botswana’s world-renowned Kalahari Copper Belt.

And there’s the option the firm holds over the exciting Molopo Farms Complex, where it is completing a due diligence work programme to follow up on a range of promising nickel, copper, and PGM targets.

Whatever way you look at it, Kavango’s Year of Discovery is positioned to be an extremely exciting one.

For further information please contact:

Kavango Resources plc   

Ben Turney

[email protected]  

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