Kavango Resources expands metals exploration footprint in Botswana with Molopo Farms (KAV) acquisition

Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) has become an exploration powerhouse in Botswana – leaving peers behind as its share price continues to climb.

An exciting new acquisition could put the company in an even stronger position than even the directors could have hoped for.

Having already built a portfolio of highly promising projects, Kavango is now poised to add yet more blue sky potential to its books.

This represents another big step forward for the firm.

The deal looks to bring what’s known as the Molopo Farms Complex under Kavango’s control. It would mean the company will add its already extensive in-country experience to another large-scale base metals exploration project.

Adding an opportunity of this calibre to the portfolio looks like it is a well-thought-out move.

Molopo Farms has already demonstrated evidence of nickel mineralisation, with encouraging drill results from the last campaign that finished earlier this year. Kavango now has plans to take this prospect quickly to the next level.

We sit down with Kavango’s chief executive Ben Turney to find out more about Molopo’s potential.

“Potential for major discovery” as Kavango puts established explorations strategy into action

“We’re excited,” explains Turney. “The deal makes a lot of sense for us, offering a great deal of upside. The deal makes good use of our equity, while preserving our working capital for deployment in the field.

Molopo Farms is already fairly well developed for a greenfields exploration play, with encouraging drill results and strong geophysical leads.

The fact that this project would also team us up with our existing strategic partners, Power Metal Resources and Spectral Geophysics, gives me a great deal of confidence that we have the right team in place to maximise our chances of success.”

Molopo Farms is currently owned by Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (“KKME”). Kavango has an exclusive three-month option to buy 85% of KKME.

If the deal goes at planned, Kavango will ultimately come to hold an approximately 51% stake in Molopo Farms, while KKME shareholder Evrima will have approximately 9% ownership.

Additionally, it is worth noting that if this deal completes Power Metal Resources (LSE: POW) will convert its current 40% project interest in Molopo Farms into a 40% ownership of the company, continuing as partner on the project.

Molopo Farms itself consists of three prospecting licences in Botswana and is focused on nickel, copper, and platinum group elements (“PGEs”).

The all-share deal is worth an estimated £1.2 million to £1.9 million, depending on Kavango’s share price performance. The all-share nature of the deal helps conserve cash for use in fieldwork.

Instead of paying an option fee, Kavango will complete a work programme at Molopo Farms. This allows the firm to complete its technical due diligence, including fieldwork, before making the decision on whether to exercise the option. It’s a move that means Kavango can move forward immediately.

Indeed, Turney is keen to get going and points out that this is:

“… a project that ranks with the best of our existing portfolio in terms of its exploration potential. This year’s scout drilling has already revealed mineralisation and the data we’ve seen is suggestive of at least one possible system to follow up on, possibly two.

There are also other under-explored areas in the prospecting licences, which our team is looking forward to working on.

Molopo Farms is an ideal play for us, given our increasingly significant investment in Botswana’s minerals exploration space.”

As Turney, says that potential has already been shown. All three of the boreholes KKME drilled back in October 2020 – known as Targets 1, 2, and 3 – encountered ultramafic rocks. These rocks are well-known as potential sites when it comes to nickel, copper and PGEs.

The MFC’s focus on these high-demand metals can only add to the project’s appeal as these are all key elements when it comes to electrification, a major step in the fight against climate change.

Not only did the boreholes all encounter ultramafic rocks, but Target 2 even identified nickel massive sulphides, proof that there is nickel lurking beneath the ground at Molopo Farms.

Molopo Farms could be the “perfect fit” for Kavango

Having already learned so much from its other projects in Botswana, using latest geophysical methods and technologies, Kavango has everything in place to develop Molopo Farms.

It has spent years developing high-quality projects in the country, with its well-known Kalahari Suture Zone, Kalahari Copper Belt, and Ditau all exhibiting exciting potential.

Indeed, as Turney points out:

“We’ve set our stall out to become a major contributor to Botswana’s economy through making multiple major mineral discoveries. Adding Molopo Farms to our stable is an obvious move for all involved.”

Turney also highlights that a key element when it comes to the company’s strategy is developing a strong project pipeline and says, “Molopo Farms could be a perfect fit”.

You can see why when it comes to the firm’s close partnership with Power Metal – the two have an existing joint venture covering Kalahari Copper Belt and Ditau – and Spectral Geophysics, a strategic partner to Kavango, who were historically engaged to complete surface surveys at Molopo.

As Turney tells us:

“We’ve excellent working relationships with Power and Spectral. Working together on Molopo Farms will enable us to build on that track record of success. .”

Building on the work so far, the work programme for Molopo Farms will see Spectral undertake a moving loop survey over Target 2. These types of surveys have a proven track record when it comes to massive sulphide and nickel sulphide deposit exploration – important when considering the nickel sulphides already identified at the target.

Molopo could bring Kavango closer than ever to its ultimate goal

2021 has seen Kavango sharpen its focus on making commercial metal discoveries.

And as you can see, the Molopo deal could be a huge step towards that goal. Indeed, as well this deal, the company is looking to snap up yet more exciting projects in Botswana for its pipeline.

The ultimate aim remains the same, to move forward with these projects and ultimately sell them on to developers.

“It’s simple,” Turney explains, “we want to make large-scale metal discoveries to sell on to major mining firms. We are all totally focussed on this goal. If our field due diligence delivers what we expect, Molopo Farms could become a major asset for us and our shareholders.”

Despite the backdrop of a struggling minerals exploration sector, it’s clear that more and more investors have faith in the firm’s ability to achieve this goal. Interest in Kavango remains high, and the company’s shares are up more than 80% in 2021, while most peers are down 50%-60%

With more newsflow to come from the Molopo Farms work programme, not to mention eagerly anticipated drill results from the Kalahari Suture Zone, Kavango is clearly a company primed for explosive growth when the market returns to exploration companies.

Kavango CEO Ben Turney will host a live shareholder webinar via Twitter Spaces through the Company’s Twitter account at 1900GMT on Monday 29 November to discuss the 90pc ownership acceleration in the LVR JV and how it fits with Kavango’s strategy (visit https://twitter.com/KavangoRes or use the handle @KavangoRes for more information)

Further information in respect of the Company and its business interests is provided on the Company’s website at www.kavangoresources.com and on Twitter at #KAV.

For further information please contact:

Kavango Resources plc

Ben Turney

bturney@kavangoresources.com

KAVANGO’s INTERESTS IN THE KCB

Kavango’s PLs in the KCB include:

The Kanye Resources JV

  • 50 % working interests in 10 prospecting licenses held in a Joint Venture with Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW), which cover 4,257km 2 . Kavango is operator.

The LVR JV

  • A proposed 90% interest in prospecting licenses PL082/2018 & PL 083/2018, held in a Joint Venture with LVR GeoExplorers (Pty) Ltd (“LVR”), which cover 1,091km 2 . Kavango currently owns 25% of the LCR JV. Kavango is operator.

GEOLOGICAL SETTING

The Kanye Resources and LVR project areas include lengthy redox boundaries, close to surface, that represent excellent exploration targets.

The redox boundaries were formed several hundred million years ago in active sedimentary basins flooded by shallow seas. Organic matter accumulating on the sea floor created anoxic conditions, which formed a chemical barrier to metal ions rising upwards through the sediments as the basin subsided. The change in chemistry caused the precipitation of metal species (carbonates, sulphides etc.) including copper and silver on or just below the redox boundary.

Subsequent tectonic activity folded the sedimentary layers, which was often accompanied by the concentration of metals into the fold hinges and shear zones. Fold hinges pointing upwards are known as anticlines, while the downward pointing hinges are called anticlines.

Several large copper/silver ore deposits have been discovered on the KCB in association with anticlines in areas now held under licence by Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and Cupric Canyon (a privately owned mining development company). These deposits are relatively close to surface and many are amenable to open pit mining operations.

Accumulations of metals can be traced along the strike of geochemical reduction-oxidation (“redox”) boundaries (sometimes for many kilometres) because they often contain iron and have a higher magnetic signature than the surrounding rock.

SOUTH GHANZI EXPLORATION STRATEGY

The South Ghanzi PLs (which are within the Kanye Resources JV) lie within the Central Structural Corridor of the KCB immediately south of the town of Ghanzi.

Sedimentary horizons hosting copper/silver mineralisation in the KCB are known to be conductive. AEM surveys are a recognised and tested exploration method for identifying high priority drill targets.

Kavango’s strategy in the KCB is to identify conductive targets and then to complete follow up investigation, using other proven exploration methods including geological mapping and testing of soil geochemistry through extensive sampling. The correlation of positive zinc and copper soil geochemistry readings to positive AEM results is a highly encouraging exploration vector.

Given Kavango’s understanding of the regional lithology and stratigraphy of the KCB, the Company is optimistic about the progress it has made in South Ghanzi over recent months.

Specifically, the identification of a number of smaller anticlines associated with conductors suggests there are seven large, promising drill targets at South Ghanzi.


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