The Ditau Camp Project (“Ditau”) presents Kavango Resources plc (LSE:KAV) with an opportunity to enter into a new commodity space. Rare earth elements (“REEs”) are crucial to the green industrial revolution. Most of the world’s REEs are found in carbonatite “ring structures”.
Kavango has identified 12 geophysical structures/targets at Ditau, which the Company believes could be possible carbonatites and/or intrusive complexes that may host carbonatites. 9 of these are particularly well defined. Kavango is now commencing on a diamond drill campaign to test 3 of these targets, by drilling up to 2 holes in each (up to 2,400m estimated drilling in total):
– The “i10” target, a discrete circular anomaly of 2.2km diameter
– An independent orientation study concluded that the magnetic source of the i10 target is not related to intrusive kimberlitic bodies
– The “i8” target, a slightly larger ring like target of about 4km diameter, and
– The “i1” target that may represent a possible large 7km x 18.5km magmatic intrusive complex, within which are circular structures indicative of potential carbonatite intrusives
– Target depth horizon of less than 400m for each borehole
– Kalahari sand cover 60m-120m over planned boreholes, based on results from Audio-frequency Magnetotelluric (“AMT”) surveys
– The primary target(s) are REE mineralisation in possible carbonatites, or secondary REE deposits derived from the primary source (dependant on relative age of intrusion and/or erosional history)
– Secondary target mineralisation style includes possible Nickel/Copper/Platinum Group Elements (“Ni/Cu/PGEs”), in layered mafic intrusives
– Drill programme designed to be flexible to allow for possible revisions as it progresses
The 12 Ditau geophysical targets are not known to have been tested for either REEs or base/precious metal mineralisation. Kavango identified these structures, which range in size from 1km to 20km in diameter, using modern geophysical interpretative software which is considerably more powerful than that previously available. Kavango has used combined and integrated airborne magnetics, ground magnetics, gravity and AMT surveys in the exploration of the area and for drill targeting.
Ben Turney, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources, commented:
“Over recent years, Kavango has completed detailed survey and interpretation work at Ditau. We’ve deployed some of the latest remote sensing technologies to create a series of comprehensive targeting models.
Diamond drilling will represent the culmination of this latest exploration campaign at Ditau. Our primary objective is to confirm whether one or more of the ring structures/intrusives we’ve identified are carbonatites with potential for rare earth elements, or mafic intrusives potentially hosting base/precious metals.
Drill testing the ring structure targets should be relatively straightforward. While the geophysical signatures are complex and varied, confirming the presence of carbonatite/mafic bodies would be the first step towards defining the potential for REE and base/precious metal mineralisation.
We will release more results from this in the coming weeks, as we progress through the drill campaign.”
Supporting rationale for drilling at Ditau
Apart from exploration by Kavango previously, no known REE or base metal exploration has been conducted in the Ditau area. This project is unexplored for these commodities and yet has several very positive indications that the appropriate geological systems could exist here.
Carbonatites can host both rare earth elements (“REE’s”) and base metal mineralisation. This is the primary target mineralisation model Kavango is pursuing at Ditau.
Carbonatites are often complicated geologically and show marked differences from one intrusive complex to the next. They can however form very large, world class mineral deposits exemplified by examples in the region (e.g. the Phalaborwa deposit in South Africa, and the Ngualla deposit in southern Tanzania) and around the world.
In addition to the primary mineralisation they are also known as a source of secondary REE deposits in the supergene/weathering zone. Kavango believes both primary and secondary mineralisation would be legitimate target styles in the Ditau project area.
Carbonatites often occur in “swarms” or clusters, oriented along favourable and clearly defined geological trends. The 12 Ditau geophysical structures occur along a southwest-northeast regional corridor, along the south-eastern edge of trend that hosts the Mabuasehube and Kokong kimberlite groups. Desktop analysis of regional data by Kavango’s geologists suggests this trend is parallel to other corridors that host other kimberlite groups in Botswana and northwest Angola. In the latter these trends are known to host both kimberlite and carbonatite intrusives.
In addition to the known presence of kimberlites within the “Ditau trend” (in numerous published reports and maps), and supporting the possible presence of carbonatites, are an as yet small cluster of carbonatite intrusives (KW2, definite, and KS12 & KS36 possible bodies) in the vicinity of the project (the “Falconbridge Carbonatites”). 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.
An independent report by GeoResources Consultancy, commissioned by the Company, tested the i10 target with reconnaissance indicator minerals soil sampling for kimberlites. This concluded:
” The laboratory reported no kimberlitic grains picked from any of the (soil) samples. If the target is 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. Figure 2** 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 includes a dense underlying body causing a high positive gravity anomaly. The coincidence of the gravity and magnetic anomalies strengthens the Company’s view that this target could be prospective for either carbonatite or base/precious metal mineralisation.
Meanwhile, the larger geophysical targets at Ditau have a more complicated signature that could be due to magmatic layered intrusive bodies. Layered intrusives are known to contain base and precious metals. The Ditau area lies on the margins of the Molopo Farms Nickel Project, known to have nickel mineralisation in ultramafic rocks. Kavango believes it is possible these geophysical features could be ultramafic intrusives with the potential for nickel mineralisation.
The POW/KAV Joint Venture at Ditau
Ditau is held in a 50/50 Joint Venture (“Kanye Resources”) with Power Metal Resources plc (LSE:POW) (“Power Metal”). Kavango is the operator. Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services (Pty) (“Mindea”) will conduct the drilling.
**Figure 2 can be viewed in the Company’s media library by clicking the following link:
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
+46 7697 406 06
First Equity (Joint Broker)
+44 207 374 2212
SI Capital Limited (Joint Broker)
+44 1483 413500