Bezant (AIM: BZT), the copper-gold exploration and development company, is pleased to announce the commencement of diamond drill target testing over the Kalengwa exploration project area in Zambia (the ” Kalengwa Exploration Project “).
· Maiden Bezant diamond drill programme of about 800m at Kalengwa to test the first two priority exploration targets based on review of extensive historic exploration datasets
· The Kalengwa SW2 target, with strong coincident magnetic and copper geochemical anomalies straddles the major Kalengwa Lineament structure just 2.5km southwest from the former mine
· Previous Aircore/RAB drilling within the weathered profile at the SW2 target reported intervals returning 19m @ 1,259ppm Cu and 4m @ 1,962ppm Cu – no recorded historic bedrock drilling
· The Minemba target is located on a structural ‘mirror image’ of the Kalengwa mine setting just 4km distant, with a coincident copper geochemical anomaly
· Limited past drilling in the late-1960s at Minemba intersected 4.3m @ 1.43% Cu and 2.7m @ 2.08% Cu – mineralisation is open along strike and apparently widening down-plunge
· A drill contract has been signed and a rig is due to be mobilised in the coming days
· Detailed evaluation continues over several other strong prospects on the property
Colin Bird, Executive Chairman of Bezant, commented :
“The whole of the Kalengwa area is highly prospective for copper discovery with numerous anomalies identified for follow-up through detailed integration of historic data sets. Just 2.5km to the south of the former Kalengwa open pit a coherent geochemical, geophysical and structural anomaly has been targeted for drilling with several holes. A further strong drilling prospect has been identified at Minemba some 4km north of the open pit, which shows promise to be a structural mirror image of the former pit with scope to be identified. We are very excited about the underlying fundamentals of Kalengwa and will progressively pursue our exploration with the aim of selecting the best targets with the greatest prospect to produce a world class copper deposit.”
Drill Plan Summary
Bezant has reviewed an extensive dataset from previous exploration over the Kalengwa exploration licence. Several strong anomalies were identified by early-stage overview and detailed evaluation was carried out over the initial priority selections, based on prospective features and site accessibility during this latter end of the rainy reason. Review work undertaken recently by Company has particularly highlighted two strong drill targets, namely Kalengwa SW2, located 2.5km southwest of the Kalengwa open pit copper-silver mine and the Minemba area, 4km northeast of the mine.
The Kalengwa SW2 target features coincident magnetic and soil geochemical anomalies for Cu covering an area of more than 1km2 occurring directly over the projection of the Kalengwa Lineament structure which is thought to be a controlling feature of the emplacement of the Kalengwa orebody. Follow-up exploration in 1999 comprised a series of angled Aircore/RAB drilling profiles on 300m x 100m spacing across the soil and magnetic anomalies. Such drilling can penetrate through the weathered layer as far as bedrock surface but cannot penetrate fresh bedrock. Sampling is typically carried out every one or two metres through the weathering profile. At Kalengwa SW2 the weathering profile is deep, averaging 43m true thickness, potentially masking or diluting the surface expression any mineral body. Drill intervals with analytical values >250ppm Cu were found in 10 of the 34 holes drilled, peaking at 19m @ 1,259ppm Cu from 20-39m in hole KWA99RA211 and 4m @ 1,962ppm Cu from 12-16m in adjacent hole KWA99RA212. These results are strongly supportive of the shallow Cu soil anomaly.
The magnetic anomaly at Kalengwa SW2 is similar to, but stronger than, the magnetic anomaly at the Kalengwa mine. Such anomalies are thought to relate to local mafic intrusive centres which are believed to be the source for the hydrothermal system that introduced mineralisation at the mine. The target appears not to have been previously tested by core or RC drilling.
Bezant plans to drill a profile of 3-4 angled diamond drill holes totalling about 400-500m across the Kalengwa SW2 target to test the bedrock for copper-silver mineralisation similar to that mined at the high grade Kalengwa open pit.
The Minemba target was selected for follow-up based on a copper geochemical anomaly found by auger drilling along strike 4km to the northeast from Kalengwa, associated with a discrete magnetic anomaly believe to be related to intrusive rocks. Five historic diamond drill holes spaced 100-200m apart and angled towards the north were completed by Roan Consolidated Mines, the operator of the Kalengwa mine, in the 1960s. Four of these intersected steeply dipping chalcopyrite-pyrite mineralisation over narrow intervals at depths ranging from 80-200m below surface within a mafic intrusive body – in contrast to the sedimentary host rocks at Kalengwa. Drill intercepts include 4.3m @ 1.43% Cu (hole MN 496) and 2.7m @ 2.08% Cu (MN 495). Despite the proximity to the high grade Kalengwa mine, no further diamond drilling was subsequently carried out. Mineralisation based on drilling covers a strike extent of 300m and is open along strike to the northeast as well as down-plunge, with an average thickness of 2.5m, apparently widening at depth.
The Company has reviewed in detail regional and local map data layers, including a regional structural interpretation. This is particularly useful as it shows the Kalengwa open pit deposit and associated geochemical anomaly to lie at a complex structural junction between the major NE-SW ‘Kalengwa Lineament’ and a series of N-NE faults including the ‘Pit Fault’ mapped in the open pit. Of special interest is that a structural mirror image to the Kalengwa deposit setting is interpreted at Minemba which adds considerably to the attractiveness of the target. It appears that the mineralisation encountered in drilling is aligned directly with the offset continuation of the NE-trending Kalengwa Lineament.
Two initial angled diamond drill holes are proposed at Minemba totalling about 300-400m, laid out to test the down-plunge and along strike development of the Minemba mineralisation on the Kalengwa Lineament. They would also look to cut the sediment/intrusive boundary, if present in the immediate locality. If the mineralisation can be traced into adjoining sediments or breccias, then this would represent a classic sedimentary target, based on analogy with Kalengwa and the Copperbelt in general. Further drilling will be contingent on the outcome of the initial two holes.
A contract has been signed with an experienced local drilling company to carry out the planned programme, with drilling due to commence shortly.
Kalengwa Exploration Project Background (as previously announced 27 April 2020)
The Company has a 30 per cent. interest and acts as operator in the approximate 974km 2 large scale exploration licence numbered 24401-HQ-LEL in The Republic of Zambia (the “Licence”) through a 30 per cent. shareholding in KPZ Int. The Licence is held by Kalengwa Processing Zone Ltd (“KPZ”), a 100 per cent. (less one share) Zambian subsidiary of KPZ Int, and is for the exploration of copper, cobalt, silver, gold and certain other specified minerals. The Licence was granted on 2 April 2019 and is valid for an initial period up to 1 April 2023.
The Kalengwa Exploration Project comprises the Licence but specifically excludes the processing area, the tailings dumps and the flooded open pit (the “Flooded Pit”) and the area 500 metres to the north of the Flooded Pit and 500 metres to the south of the Flooded Pit, such excluded area being the subject of the pre-existing Kalengwa Processing Project between the existing shareholders of KPZ Int and Xtract Resources Plc (AIM: XTR) (“Xtract”) (the “Kalengwa Processing Project”) details of which are set out in Xtract’s announcement of 15 July 2019.
The exploration licence, 24401-HQ-LEL, covers an area of 974.83km2 in the North-Western Province of Zambia and is accessed from the regional centre of Solwezi via a 240km long tarred road of good quality and then by dirt/gravel roads within the property. The exploration acreage includes extensive ground along strike from the historic, high-grade Kalengwa open pit copper mine. Past third-party production from the mine is estimated at 1.9 million tonnes (“Mt”) grading at 9.44% Cu and 50g/t Ag. The historic mine workings exhibit features of both IOCG-type deposits as well as stratiform copper mineralisation, more typical of that seen at the major Zambian Copperbelt mines to the east.
In addition, the Project area surrounds a further copper deposit at Mufumbwe in the southwest of the property which is held by a third party. A non-compliant mineral resource estimate of 7.2Mt grading at 2.2% Cu has previously been estimated from drilling at this adjacent prospect.
The stratigraphic package at Kalengwa is similar to that hosting the world-class deposits in the Copperbelt. These deposits are thought to be formed from hydrothermal and ore-bearing fluids sourced from the intrusives of the Hook Granite complex. It is notable that such intrusives occur at the Kalengwa mine and are known from historic third-party drilling and airborne magnetic surveying to occur at, or close to, several other prospects within the Project area.
Previous exploration data available includes extensive soil geochemistry, airborne magnetics and electromagnetics, structural interpretation and drilling. Based on review to date of these data sets, up to nine high priority targets have been highlighted within the Licence boundary, most with limited or no previous drill testing. Apart from the two prospects earmarked for drilling in the current programme other strong targets include the Mufumbwe northeast extension, an undrilled 13km long northeast-trending soil geochemical anomaly aligned with an interpreted structural zone, lying directly along strike from the Mufumbwe copper deposit. The remaining exploration targets all have significant soil geochemical anomalies as well as geophysical and structural features of interest. The historical exploration datasets in respect of the Kalengwa Exploration Project will continue to be examined in detail in order to prioritise further targets and assist with planning the requisite follow up work by Bezant.
Technical information in this announcement has been reviewed by Edward (Ed) Slowey, BSc, PGeo, technical director of Bezant. Mr Slowey is a graduate geologist with more than 40 years’ relevant experience in mineral exploration and mining, a founder member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland and is a Qualified Person under the AIM rules. Mr Slowey has reviewed and approved this announcement.
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