Tuesday saw Botswana-focused explorer Kavango Resources double down on efforts to secure a partner or partners for its flagship Kalahari Suture Zone (“KSZ”) project.
In an update, the company reported that it has engaged global natural resources adviser Tamesis Partners in respect of a possible corporate transaction involving the KSZ.
It said it already has in place a number of non-disclosure agreements with interested parties, and will now advance discussions with additional parties alongside Tamesis.
To aid in this, Kavango has established an extensive data room to share information relating to the KSZ project, where it is exploring licences covering more than 8,000km2.
The KSZ is thought to be geologically favourable for mafic-ultramafic mineralisation, including massive nickel, copper, and PGE sulphides. This is because deep-seated structures are repeatedly activated and may enable the ascent of fertile mantle-derived magma to surface. Specifically, Kavango is looking for mineralisation associated with two large rock layers–the Karoo Large Igneous Province and the regionally extensive Proterozoic (Tshane Complex).
In Tuesday’s update, Kavango highlighted Tamesis’ strong track record of mining sector transactions, adding that its team boasts extensive financial and technical expertise. It said this would assist in its search for potential partners as well as guiding what sort of structure a deal would take.
Kavango’s current thinking is that a corporate transaction for the KSZ could involve a joint venture, an earn-in, direct investment, or another similar mechanism. Whatever ends up being the case, the explorer made it clear that its goal is to maximise its exposure to the potentially large value of the KSZ while minimising dilution to shareholders.
As pointed out by Kavango’s chief executive Ben Turney, Tuesday’s news follows last week’s publication of a technical review for the KSZ authored by industry veteran Richard Hornsey. Following the release of the documents, “Kavango is now ready to engage formally with potential partners for future development of this large-scale exploration project,” he said.
This is because Hornsey’s report included significant geochemical proof of magmatic nickel, copper, PGE mineralising processes throughout the KSZ. These processes, which include depletion and enrichment, were found in intrusions located in both Karoo and Proterozoic rock. Hornsey’s work also confirmed previously unrecognised PGE potential in the KSZ South.
Kavango is exploring primarily 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 company’s licences display a geological setting with numerous similarities to the project.
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, or “IOCG”, style mineralisation.
IOCG systems can host highly valuable copper, gold and uranium ores. The large size and relatively simple metallurgy can produce extremely profitable mines. Specifically, the Great Red Spot exhibits similar geophysical signatures to the world-renowned Olympic Dam IOCG ore deposit in Australia.
“Our main focus in the coming months will be to act on the recommendations made in the Technical Review and build on the project’s growing momentum,” said Turney. “We have a number of leads to pursue immediately and will continue advancing the B1, B3 and B4 conductors to drill ready status.”