Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the London listed exploration company seeking large-scale metal discoveries across its global project portfolio announces a update for the Ditau Project (“Ditau” or the “Project”) located in southwestern Botswana.
The Ditau Project is held by Kanye Resources Pty Ltd (“Kanye Resources”), a Botswana joint venture company in which Power Metal and Kavango Resources plc (“Kavango”) (LON:KAV) each hold a 50% interest.
Ditau is targeting rare-earth element (“REE”) discoveries. A diamond drill rig is now being mobilised to the first drill location and drilling is expected to commence within the next few weeks.
Paul Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Power Metal Resources plc, commented:
“It is imperative for the world to find new sources of rare-earth elements in secure and stable mining jurisdictions. At Ditau, several years of preparatory work utilising modern remote sensing and various geophysical techniques have culminated in multiple high-priority exploration targets which we believe offer the potential for new discoveries of rare-earth element mineralisation within mining friendly Botswana.
For Power Metal and Kavango to jointly launch another drill programme in Botswana demonstrates our confidence in the geological prospectivity across our project interests in country, and we look forward to the progression of this important drilling programme at Ditau and its findings.”
Kanye Resources has identified 12 airborne magnetic targets at Ditau of which 9 are clear ring structures that are believed to represent possible carbonatites that are considered by the Company to be prospective for rare-earth element mineralisation. Kanye is now commencing on a diamond drilling campaign which will include up to 6 deep drillholes (up to 2,400m estimated in total) targeting three of the highest priority targets identified to date:
– The “i10” target, a discrete circular airborne magnetic anomaly of 2.2km diameter (a independent orientation study concluded that the magnetic source of the i10 target is not related to intrusive kimberlitic bodies)
– The “i8” target, a larger ring like target of about 4km diameter, and
– The “i1” target that may represent a large, 7km x 18.5km intrusive complex where structures have been identified which may be indicative of potential carbonatite intrusives.
Whilst the drilling campaign is primarily targeting REE mineralisation hosted within interpreted carbonatites or felsic intrusives, the geophysical targets could also be related to layered mafic intrusive systems, which are considered by the Company to be prospective for nickel, copper, and platinum group element (“PGE”) mineralisation.
The target depth horizons at all targets are less than 400m for each drillhole, and the estimated Kalahari sand cover is between 60m-120m thick based on estimates from the recently completed Audio-frequency Magnetotelluric (“AMT”) surveys at Ditau. The drill programme may be revised as it progresses. While the nominal targets are carbonatites, other mineralisation styles may also be intersected within the ring structures. The programme has been designed with this flexibility in mind.
The 12 airborne magnetic targets identified at Ditau are not known to have been tested for either REEs, base or precious metal mineralisation historically. Kanye has identified these structures, which range in size from 1km to 20km in diameter using geophysical techniques which are more advanced than that available to previous operators. Kanye has employed airborne magnetic, ground magnetic, gravity and AMT surveys at Ditau and the results from these surveys have allowed for precise drill targeting.
DITAU DRILLING RATIONALE
Carbonatites have the potential to host both rare-earth element and base-metal mineralisation. Carbonatites are often unique geologically and can show marked differences from one intrusive complex to the next. Notably they can form very large, world class mineral deposits highlighted by examples in the region (e.g. the Palabora Cu deposit in South Africa) and around the world (e.g. Jacupiranga REE deposit in Brazil, and the Kovdor REE deposit in Russia).
In addition to primary REE mineralisation, Carbonatites are also known as a source of secondary REE mineralisation located within the supergene/weathering zone. Kanye believes that both primary and secondary mineralisation are legitimate target styles at the Ditau Project.
Carbonatites often occur in “swarms” or clusters, oriented along favourable and clearly defined geological trends. The 12 structures identified at Ditau occur along a southwest-northeast oriented regional corridor which further along strike hosts the Mabuasehube and Kokong kimberlite groups. Desktop analysis of regional geological data by Kanye’s geologists suggest that this trend is subparallel to corridors that host other kimberlite groups within Botswana and northwest Angola. Significantly, in both countries these trends are known to host both kimberlite and carbonatite intrusives.
In addition to the known presence of kimberlites and carbonatites within this geological trend, further supporting the possible presence of carbonatites at Ditau are a small cluster of carbonatite intrusives including KW2, definite, and KS12 & KS36 (the “Falconbridge Carbonatites”), located near to the Project. The Falconbridge Carbonatites were drilled by Falconbridge Exploration Botswana (Pty) Ltd in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s, to the immediate north and 30km along strike to the northeast of the Ditau Project.
Kanye Resources commissioned GeoResources Consultancy to conduct a reconnaissance soil sampling survey for kimberlite indicator minerals over the i10 target. The survey report concluded:
” The laboratory reported no kimberlitic grains picked from any of the (soil) samples. If the target were related to any intrusive kimberlitic body, the samples would have at least produced some kimberlitic indicator minerals since an optimum sample volume (60 litres) and sampling density was used in this programme. The cause of the magnetic anomaly is still to be established but is non kimberlitic.
The areas covered by the prospecting licence still has potential for the occurrence of kimberlite bodies. Some of the known kimberlite fields in Botswana, from the Orapa field in the north-east, through the Gope field, Kikao-Khutse field, Kokong field and down to the Tsabong field in the south-west corner of the country. These kimberlite fields form the north-east, south-west kimberlite intrusive corridor. The areas with the sampled magnetic targets fall within or close to the margins of this corridor. ”
In addition, analysis of the gravity survey results by Kavango’s in-house team of geophysicists suggests the i10 target has a dense underlying body causing a high gravity anomaly. The coincidence of the gravity and magnetic anomalies strengthens Kanye’s view that this target could be prospective for either carbonatite or base or precious metal mineralisation
Additionally, the larger geophysical targets at the Ditau Project have a more complicated geophysical signature that may be caused by magmatic layered intrusive bodies. Layered mafic intrusives are known sources of base and precious metals within Botswana and worldwide. Kanye believes it is possible that the magnetic anomalies being drill tested have the potential to host ultramafic rocks, which could be prospective for magmatic nickel and precious metal mineralisation. Drill samples from the programme will be sent to the laboratory where they will undergo multi-element analysis.
As noted above, apart from recent exploration by Kanye, no known REE, base or precious metal exploration has been conducted within the Ditau Project. As a result, Kanye will be the first known company to drill test these exciting targets.
JOINT VENTURE STRUCTURE
The Ditau Project is held by Kanye Resources Pty Ltd, a Botswana joint venture company in which Power Metal and Kavango each company hold a 50% interest. Exploration costs are equally shared. Kavango is the operator. Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services (Pty) has been contracted to conduct the drilling.
THE DITAU CAMP PROJECT
The Ditau Camp Project comprises two prospecting licences (“PLs”) (PL169/2012 & PL010/2019) that cover an area of 1,386km2. Detailed geophysical and geochemical analyses by Kanye has identified 12 ring structures within the two PLs. These ring structures have the potential to host REE-rich carbonatites.
Carbonatites are a principal global source of rare-earth elements including the much sought-after elements neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr) which are used in the manufacture of the new generation of electric vehicles (EVs), permanent magnets and other high-tech applications. Other elements/minerals known to be associated with carbonatites include niobium, phosphates, monazite, strontium, magnetite and copper.
Additionally, layered mafic intrusives have the potential to host base- and precious-metals as evidenced in the Molopo Farms Complex, Selebi-Phikwe and Tati Nickel projects in Botswana.
COMPETENT PERSON STATEMENT
The technical information contained in this disclosure has been read and approved by Mr Nick O’Reilly (MSc, DIC, MIMMM, MAusIMM, FGS), who is a qualified geologist and acts as the Competent Person under the AIM Rules – Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Mr O’Reilly is a Principal consultant working for Mining Analyst Consulting Ltd which has been retained by Power Metal Resources PLC to provide technical support.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“MAR”), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of MAR.
For further information please visit https://www.powermetalresources.com/ or contact:
Power Metal Resources plc
Paul Johnson (Chief Executive Officer)
+44 (0) 7766 465 617
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