Kavango Resources plc (LSE:KAV), the exploration company targeting the discovery of world-class mineral deposits in Botswana, is pleased to announce drilling will commence on two “proof of concept” geological holes in the northern (Hukuntsi) section of the Kalahari Suture Zone (“KSZ”) in June.
Kavango’s primary objective is to become the first company ever to retrieve drill core from the bottom of the “keels” of the Karoo-age gabbros in the KSZ. The Company anticipates that drill-core from these holes will provide firm physical evidence of the KSZ’s potential to host ‘Norilsk-style’ metal sulphide deposits.
To this end, Kavango has awarded a contract to Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services (Pty) (“Mindea”), a company operated under the Botswana Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy, to design, engineer and drill a minimum of two 500m boreholes (the “Drill Contract”). Drilling is planned to commence by no later than 30 June 2021.
Mindea has agreed to accept payment for the Drill Contract half in cash and half in Kavango stock (at an issue price of 4.53p per share).
- Drill contract key terms:
- Mindea to drill a minimum of two 500m “geological” diamond holes at Hukuntsi
- Cost per metre calculated on possible depth per hole of 800m
- Mindea to design and engineer all bore holes
- All bore-holes to be cased from surface into the gabbro intrusive to allow for extensive testing and geophysical surveying
- Bore-holes will be oriented -80° from the horizontal
- Core samples (HQ and NQ size) to be recovered for geological logging, whole rock geochemistry and assaying.
- Key safety protocols and COVID-security processes agreed
- Mindea to accept over half its fee in equity in Kavango, to be paid through the issue of shares in the Company at an agreed price of 4.53p per share
- Drill targets:
- Final drill collar locations to be confirmed later this month
- A minimum of one hole to be drilled into Target A2 (announced on 20 April 2020)
- Analysis of other potential drill targets ongoing, with results expected shortly
- Planned testing programme on all boreholes:
- Downhole electromagnetic (“EM”) surveys to be performed by Spectral Geophysics, with an anticipated search radius of 300m-400m from the drill string
- XRF testing of sand cores to be completed by Kavango’s exploration team.
- Core for assay and petrological work will be split by Kavango staff in Hukuntsi
- Whole rock geochemistry and assay testing of core samples to be completed at the SGS laboratory in South Africa
- Additional analysis of geochemistry and petrological/mineralogical studies to be performed in the UK by academic consultants.
- Site preparation:
- Site visits completed, camp location agreed and two water sources identified
- The Company has engaged with the local community to secure its support
- Drill rig mobilisation expected within the next week
- Ongoing discussions with Equity Drilling Ltd (a 49% shareholder in Mindea) concerning a future potential strategic partnership
- Budget in place for more extensive drilling campaign later in 2021
Michael Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources, commented:
“The Kalahari Suture Zone was first identified 45 years ago. The technical challenges of pursuing exploration under 70m of Kalahari sands and sediments proved too much for previous companies that attempted to unlock this region’s significant potential.
Through the deployment of modern remote sensing technologies, sophisticated data analysis and persistent hard work, Kavango now aims to become the first company to retrieve drill core samples from the bottom of the “keels” of the Karoo-age gabbros here.
If we are successful this will be a major achievement for the Company.
We believe core samples from the bottom of the gabbroic “keels” could provide us with the definitive proof we have been looking for that the KSZ could host one or more major deposits of nickel, copper and platinum group metals.
I am particularly delighted to be working with Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services on such an important project. Mindea is a well-established national drilling contractor in Botswana, having worked for Debswana and DeBeers. Equity Drilling, one of Mindea’s largest shareholders, also operates a highly regarded drill school in Gaborone, the first of its kind in Africa.
Kavango is committed to investing heavily in Botswana. Working with such reliable local partners as Mindea and Equity Drilling is integral to our ambitious growth strategy.
The fact that Mindea has agreed to receive over half of its fees in equity suggests considerable faith in the potential of the KSZ to host metal sulphide ore bodies and a great endorsement of Kavango’s exploration approach. For a minimal cash outlay, we can make significant advances with the KSZ Project, while keeping a budget in reserve for a more extensive drill campaign later this year.”
Over the last three years, Kavango has conducted extensive geophysical surveys over Karoo-age gabbros at Hukuntsi using airborne and ground-based based technology. In 2019 Kavango completed a successful orientation drill programme, data from which helped augment the Company’s extensive 3D Magnetic Model of the region’s subsurface geology (announced 8 September 2020).
On 30 November 2020 Kavango released results from its analysis of the 3D Magnetic Model, which revealed close similarities between the gabbroic rock formations in the KSZ and those at the Norilsk mining centre, in northern Russia.
In December that year, the Company initiated the first ground-based Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) survey of the KSZ. This was the first time this powerful remote sensing technology had been used on the KSZ.
On 20 April 2021 and 5 May 2021, Kavango released details of the results from the second TDEM survey, which defined Target A2.
Links to the relevant announcements are provided below:
The Company now proposes to drill at least one 500m borehole into Target A2, with a second hole also planned in the area. Final confirmation of specific drill collar locations will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services (Pty) LTD was formed in September 2019 by Equity Drilling Limited and Maureen Mokgaotsane (Geologist), Sebanka Lobatlamang (Geologist) and Eddie Babuseng (Attorney at Law) to provide complete exploration solutions to its clients in Botswana.
Mindea is currently operated under the Botswana Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy and is owned 51% by local shareholders and 49% by Equity Drilling. Over the coming years it is expected that Botswana nationals will wholly own Mindea, with Equity Drilling continuing to provide strategic and technical support.
Mindea operates to strict international safety standards and deploys the latest equipment to its projects. Mindea is rigorous in its planning and site preparation.
Reflecting the quality of its operations, Mindea has recently been awarded a 3-year contract by Debswana to drill various national projects in Botswana. In addition to this, Mindea is a regular drill contractor for DeBeers.
About Equity Drilling
The owners of Equity Drilling are extremely experienced drill operators, with extensive experience of successfully working on technically challenging projects across Africa.
Equity Drilling established Africa’s first Drilling School in Botswana, the Africa Mining and Drilling Institute (“AMDI “)
AMDI is Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) certified, which offers internationally recognised certification to all students wishing to be taught exploration drilling. AMDI has an exclusive working relationship agreement in place with the Australian Drilling Industry Association (the “ADIA”) and offer the ADIA’s DICAT curriculum with a strong emphasis on safety in the workplace.
AMDI also offers funds the delivery of pre-industry courses to students from local communities, who have had no previous work experience. This course prepares students for the work place and making them eligible for placement into the industry on graduation. Mindea’s own labour resources have been drawn from these pre-industry course graduates
About Target A2
Kavango estimates Target A2’s properties are:
– 1km length, which is open along strike
– Extends between 250m to 700m below surface and is gently dipping
– Decay constant of approximately 340msec and conductance of approximately 3000 Siemens, readings which Kavango management considers are consistent with nickel sulphide deposits elsewhere in the world
– Located in the right geological setting, at the bottom of a “keel” in the gabbroic intrusion, according to the Company’s Magnetic 3D-Model (8 September 2020)
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 additional information please contact:
Kavango Resources plc
First Equity (Joint Broker)
+44 207 374 2212
SI Capital Limited (Joint Broker)
+44 1483 413500