Kavango adds key exploration lead with identification of gold at Ditau

Today saw Kavango Resources (LSE: KAV) kick off the week with a bang, taking a considerable step forward at one of its key projects.

Author: Alex Chalk

In an update, the Botswana-focused explorer said it has identified a gold mineralisation system from drilling the i10 target at its Ditau project. The news marks the first time the precious metal has been found in the area, with grades collected from fire assays reaching 0.18 parts per million.

Alongside gold, Kavango also noted that its work had found copper to 0.10%, with the metals being located in an iron oxide-rich breccia continuing to the end of hole DITDD004.

In response, the company has extended its previously announced “Zone of Interest” at i10 to 100.79m–from a depth of 292.6m to 393.29m. This zone was previously delineated back in May in response to preliminary magnetic susceptibility readings on core recovered from DITDD004.

Purite and chalcopyrite in a quartz-carbonate vein (Source: Kavango)

Ben Turney, Kavango’s chief executive officer, was encouraged by Monday’s news, highlighting that it stemmed from the company’s “open” approach to drilling at Ditau.

“This has led to a new exploration lead, with an intensely developed brecciated and hydrothermally altered system that contains mineralisation, including gold, copper, iron oxides and iron sulphide,” he added.

Ditau covers 1,386km2 in southwestern Botswana, with recent drilling investigating 12 geophysical structures of which nine have clear indications of being “ring structures”.

Kavango‘s motivation for action was the structures’ potential to host carbonatites (the world’s principal source of rare earth elements) as well as other intrusive rocks. So, as Turney highlights, the discovery of gold represents an entirely new exploration lead, and one which Kavango now plans to follow up at pace.

Indeed, with the system remaining open in all directions as well as at depth, it offers the company a great deal of prospective potential for the future. Especially with demand for quality pipeline gold projects remaining elevated among producers over all time frames in the face of ongoing global volatility.

In Monday’s RNS, Kavango noted that the grades and overall width of gold mineralisation provide a “clear rationale” for further follow-up.

It added that its future work will include re-evaluating its exploration model for Target i10. Likewise, it plans to carry additional drilling to test the system and learn more about its size and scale, as well as whether mineralisation and rock alteration intensified with depth.

However, before it rushes into next steps, the company is awaiting the results of petrological work, which will enable it to understand the genetic origin of its gold values.

The important point here is that the identification of gold at Ditau offers Kavango another opportunity for discovery success.

Indeed, the company is also making progress across its Kalahari Copper Belt licences in the north of Botswana near the Zimbabwe border.

Just last week, it revealed that large-scale soil sampling and mapping had confirmed two major drill targets at licence PL082/2018 prospective for copper and silver. Notably, anomalous copper was found throughout strike lengths of 8km and 27km in the areas, giving Kavango a lot of interesting areas in which to follow up with planned drilling.

Two targets at KCB licence PL082/2018 (Source: Kavango)

Then, of course, there’s the company’s flagship Kalahari Suture Zone, or “KSZ”, project, which is proximal to Ditau in the south of Botswana.

Here, a recent report authored by industry veteran Richard Hornsey confirmed that a Proof-of-Concept drill programme completed by Kavango had provided geochemical proof of magmatic nickel, copper, and platinum group metals (“PGMs”) mineralising processes in both the shallower “Karoo” layer of rock and the deeper “Proterozoic”.

Kavango is exploring for two different styles of mineralisation at the KSZ.

The first is in the same style as the Norilsk project, which accounts for 90% of Russia’s nickel reserves, 55% of its copper and virtually all of its PGMs. The second centres around the KSZ’s Great Red Spot anomaly, where recent drill holes appear to support a late 1990’s theory that the area could host a form of Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold style mineralisation.

Author: Alex Chalk

Disclaimer: The author has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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