Kavango Resources plc (LSE:KAV) has commenced drilling the “i10” target (“Target i10”) at the Ditau Camp Project (“Ditau”), in southwestern Botswana. Target i10 is a discrete circular anomaly that is 2.2km in diameter and under an estimated 120m of sand cover. Kavango’s primary objective is to retrieve rock core to establish whether Target i10 is a carbonatite intrusive. Carbonatite complexes are the world’s primary source of rare earth elements (“REEs”) and other strategic/industrial commodities. REEs are strategically vital commodities in high-tech industries.
Ditau is held in a 50/50 Joint Venture (“Kanye Resources”) with Power Metal Resources plc (LSE:POW).
Ben Turney, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources, commented:
“The drill motivation for Target i10 is a comprehensive piece of work. Kavango’s team has worked hard over the last two years refining the exploration methodology leading to the design of the current Ditau drill campaign. Using the latest remote sensing technologies, we have created sophisticated targeting models to guide our exploration.
We will now become the first explorers to test this area’s potential for carbonatites, which are the world’s primary source of rare earth elements (“REEs”). REEs are strategically critical minerals, crucial to all high-tech industries.
Given the fact that carbonatites and kimberlites often occur in clusters, controlled by regional geological structural trends, the Ditau property location could be significant. We know that Ditau is in a known kimberlite “corridor”, so the backdrop to drilling is favourable.
It is now down to the “truth detector” to tell us what is down there.”
– Drill motivation
– Target i10 is a discrete circular anomaly, 2.2km in diameter
– Shallow depth, with Kalahari sediment and sand cover estimated at 120m, target zone directly underneath
– Kavango modelled Target i10 using inversions of Aeromagnetic data (“AEM”), combined with the interpretation of Audio-Magnetotelluric (“AMT”) data
– The targets have been independently verified to conform to an idealised model for carbonatite intrusives, based on their aeromagnetic signatures.
– Idealised Ore Deposit Model
– Target i10 is a “carbonatite pipe” type intrusive target
– Apparent concentric “ring-like” lithological zonation and structure, which could relate to mineralized horizons
– Target lies near the margin of the Kaapvaal Craton, a tectonic context common to mined carbonatites globally
– Comparison made with Kangankunde carbonatite in Malawi
– Drill operations
– First of two planned boreholes into Target i10 commenced 15 April, targeting the core of the magnetic high
– Camp secured & road access and drill pads completed
– Water borehole successfully drilled & solar powered water pump installed
– First hole is designated DITDD003
– DITDD003 Target End-of-Hole (“EOH”) depth 400m
– As of morning shift on 19 April (0600) DITDD003 has been drilled to 85.27m depth
– Drilling to be conducted by Mindea Exploration & Drilling Services (Pty) (“Mindea”)
– Plan to drill up to six 400m diamond core boreholes in current Ditau drill campaign, across 3 targets
Background to targeting
Kavango has identified 12 geophysical structures/targets at Ditau (targets i1 through i12), which the Company believes could be possible carbonatites and/or intrusive complexes that may host carbonatites. 9 of these targets are particularly well defined.
There are two target types at Ditau:
1) Discrete kilometre-scale carbonatite pipe targets, and
2) Larger multi-kilometre scale intrusive complex targets that may also be host to carbonatite intrusives and/or mafic associated mineralisation styles prospective for base metals
The 12 Ditau geophysical targets are not known to have been tested for either REEs or base metal mineralisation. Kavango identified these targets, which range in size from 1km to 20km in diameter, using modern geophysical interpretative techniques. Kavango has used combined and integrated Airborne Magnetics, Ground Magnetics and Audio-Magnetotelluric (“AMT”) surveys in the exploration of the area and for drill targeting.
Kavango believes Target i10 could represent a discrete, kilometre-scale carbonatite pipe. This target is interpreted as a simple single phase carbonatite phase/pipe with a possible outer ring indicated by a weak magnetic low.
The geophysical anomaly is estimated to be 2.2km in diameter, with apparent concentric “ring-like” lithological zonation and structure. Kavango has surveyed Target i10 using Ground Magnetic and AMT technologies following from an initial modelling and interpretation of the regional Aeromagnetic data.
Kavango has provided a 3D inversion of the Target i10 Aeromagnetic data with an AMT section overlay on its website:
Based on analysis of the AMT section over Target i10, the sand cover is estimated to be roughly 120m deep. The magnetic inversion confirms that the primary target zone lies just underneath this cover.
To confirm the Company’s geophysical interpretation of Target i10, Kavango currently plans to drill two geological boreholes into i10 to confirm the presence of a carbonatite. The first hole will target the core of the magnetic high, while the second hole is designed to test the edge of the negative magnetic response.
Target i10 Idealised Ore Deposit Model
In its analysis of Target i10, Kavango has used the REE bearing Kangankunde carbonatite pipe (“Kangankunde”) in Malawi as a carbonatite model.
Kangankunde is one of the largest carbonatites in the Chilwa Alkaline Province (“Chilwa”) of Southern Malawi. Chilwa is a roughly 300km-diameter area, which comprises of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous alkaline rocks and clusters of carbonatites. Kangankunde is one of many carbonatites in Chilwa and is roughly 1.5km in diameter.
Kangankunde forms a low hill, 200m above the surrounding plain, with lower slopes composed of fenitised and locally fractured (brecciated) rocks with the upper slopes predominantly forming carbonatite.
Although Target i10 is buried under roughly 120m of Kalahari cover, its geophysical signatures are comparable to Kangankunde. Kavango’s interpretation of combined Aeromagnetic and AMT data of Target i10 indicates this geophysical anomaly could represent a simple, single phase carbonatite pipe, with a possible ring indicated by a weak magnetic low.
For comparison, Kavango has provided a geological map of Kangankunde on its website:
Carbonatites can exhibit significant lithological and structural variation, both between and within individual pipes. As such, to maximise the chances of success in exploring for carbonatite hosted REE deposits, it is common practice to drill multiple boreholes along fences into single targets. The geological map of Kangankunde illustrates the geological complexity and therefore the necessity for drilling multiple drillholes into carbonatite targets to elucidate the geology and locate potential indicators of mineralisation.
Drilling at Ditau
The drill camp is constructed and secure. All supporting equipment and personnel have been located to site.
Kavango has successfully drilled a 180m water borehole, which the Company believes should yield enough water to support drilling operations. A solar powered pump has been installed.
Road access between the drill camp, drill collar locations and water sources are also complete.
Drilling operations commenced on Friday 15 April. In total, Kavango expects to drill up to 6 diamond core holes in the current campaign (totalling 2,400m). Each hole has an anticipated target EOH depth of 400m, and the Company aims to test 3 of the 12 geophysical targets at Ditau.
The Company and its contractors have designed the current Ditau drill campaign to be flexible and guided by results. The plan is to test both possible carbonatite pipes and possibly related large-scale intrusive complexes (which may also be host to discrete carbonatite bodies).
Kavango will release a comprehensive report on the outcome of current planned 6-hole drill campaign once all data has been processed and verified.
Depending on the success of the current drill campaign, Kavango has identified a further 17 drill collar locations for future test-drilling across all 12 geophysical targets/structures.
Ditau regional geological setting
Carbonatites often occur in “swarms” or clusters, oriented along favourable and clearly defined deep continental scale geological, structural trends. The 12 Ditau geophysical structures occur along a southwest-northeast regional corridor, along the south-eastern edge of the 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, meaning that the presence of one is a strong indicator for the other.
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 of and 30km along strike to the northeast of the Ditau project.
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.
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
Kavango Competent Person Statement
The technical information contained in this announcement pertaining to geophysics have been read and approved by Mr. Jeremy S. Brett, M.Sc., P.Geo., Senior Geophysical Consultant, Jeremy S. Brett International Consulting Ltd. in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Brett is a member of the Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society, and the Society of Economic Geologists. Mr. Brett has sufficient experience that is relevant to geophysics applied the styles of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration to act as a Qualified Person as defined under the Canadian National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
NOTES TO EDITORS
THE DITAU CAMP PROJECT
The Ditau Camp Project comprises two Prospecting Licences (“PLs”) (PL169/2012 & PL010/2019) that cover an area of 1,386km2. Geophysical and geochemical analyses by Kavango in the two PLs have identified 12 “geophysical structures” of which 9 have clear indications of being “ring structures”.
The “ring structures” have the potential to host carbonatite and other intrusive rocks.
Carbonatites are the principal source of rare earth elements (“REEs”) 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), magnets and other high-tech applications. Other elements/minerals associated with carbonatites include Niobium, Phosphates, Monazite, Strontium, Magnetite and Copper.
Mafic intrusives have potential to host base and precious metals, as seen in the Molopo Farms Project, Selebi Phikwe and Tati Nickel deposits in Botswana.