Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) sat at 3.85p with a £27.5m market cap on Tuesday after revealing an extension to the mineralised zone at its Cheyeza East copper target area in Zambia. This is a positive step forward for the company and the question now is can it build on this development?

In Tuesday's update, the business revealed that its maiden drilling programme at the site has extended the width of its open-ended mineralised zone to more than 300m. Meanwhile, the prospect's strike length in the north has extended to at least 650m and also remains open-ended. Among the intersections encountered by Arc were 19.7m at 0.59pc copper from 15.3m at drill hole six, 11m at 0.75pc copper from 69.40 at drill hole seven and 9m at 0.92pc copper from 14.9m from drill hole nine.

Cheyeza was one of several areas identified by geophysics and geochemistry work completed by Arc at its 66pc-owned Zamsort asset last year. Arc is particularly interested in a 3km by 0.8km area at Cheyeza East where up to 2,792 ppm copper has been identified in soil. This is where it has drilled all of its holes to date.

The company's executive chairman Nick von Schirnding, called Tuesday's results 'encouraging'', adding: 'Drill holes six and seven, which were drilled either side of drill holes four and five, have demonstrated that the width of the mineralised zone along this drill profile is now in excess of 300m and still open ended. Drill holes eight, nine, ten and twelve, drilled along strike and to the north east have confirmed that the strike length to the mineralised zone in the north of this target area is at least 650m long.'

Elsewhere in Tuesday's update, Arc said it has completed infill soil sampling at its Lubeta target area. Lumbeta was also identified by the company last year and stretches for 11km in associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits. The business said that its sampling has further refined the 11km long anomalous feature into three target areas, the longest stretching for 4km. 

Finally, Arc said it has also begun access and initial drill pad preparation at its West Lunga target, where the definition of drill targets and drilling plans are already well advanced. West Lunga is located in the western part of the Zamsort & Zaco licences and targets the same horizon that hosts the world-class Kamoa deposit. 

On the progress at Lumbeta and West Lunga, von Schirnding said the following: 'While we await the results of several new holes at Cheyeza East, investors should also look forward to maiden drilling at Lumbeta and West Lunga - two significant new targets which we are extremely excited by.

'A third drill rig is now mobilising to the Lumbeta target area where over 3,700 infill soil samples have been collected and where soil geochemistry provides encouragement that the target area may be copper bearing. The largest of these zones is the western zone where the soil analysis can be traced for circa 4km and appears to represent the limbs of an interpreted anticline in this part of the license. We look forward to releasing further updates shortly.' 

Elsewhere, Arc is continuing to develop its more advanced Kalaba prospect at Zamsort. Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines. The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia.

 

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future

Last week the market reacted adversely to Kavango Resources’ (LSE:KAV) assay results from the two holes it recently drilled at its Ditau project. As disappointing as the announcement was, there were some indications that perhaps the market might have overreacted. We put questions to the company’s director and chief geologist, Mike Moles, to help clarify some points. His answers are well worth reading.

Before beginning the Q&A, it is worth reminding of the back-story. During H1 Kavango drilled two holes at Ditau. Initial XRF readings were encouraging and the company released preliminary figures, with indications of elevated levels of certain rare earth elements. The company sent the results for assay analysis, but when it received the results decided to seek confirmation of the results from a second firm.

The second set of results confirmed the first and Kavango announced it had “not identified economic mineralisation”.

As is always the case in the hyper-competitive world of public company announcements, as soon as a firm uses such a blunt, negative turn of phrase in an RNS, investors seize on that and sell. Share prices invariably crash.

However, in this instance the results were perhaps not as bad as the market interpreted. Just prior to releasing the final assays, Kavango announced it had significantly increased its footprint at Ditau by securing another 916.4km2 license immediately to the southwest. If Ditau were such a bust, then why would the company have done this?

Over to Mike to tell us more about the results…

Q: In previous public announcements, we were led to believe that the drilling at Ditau contained anomalous values of metals including cobalt and rare earth elements. It would appear from the recent RNS that the assays show no enrichment in these elements. What is your explanation for this?

A: During a drilling campaign it is common practice to use a portable XRF analyser (Niton) to obtain readings from the core to get an idea of what one might expect to find from the laboratory assays. In previous RNSs, the company explained that this instrument was not entirely reliable for evaluating core samples and made it clear that the values generated by the Niton were only indicative. Having said that, Kavango’s geologists were surprised to find that the assays showed only slightly elevated values above what might have been expected from unmineralised intersections of these rock types. This prompted the re-submission of 33 samples for assay checks to the same laboratory and a similar number to an independent (referee) laboratory. The checks and repeats confirmed, within an acceptable margin, that the original (Genalysis) were correct.

In the quest to explain what might have contributed to the poor performance of the Niton, there are a number of factors which need to be considered and noted:

1. Kavango’s geological team have used the Niton on numerous occasions in their careers as a guide to the anomalous values that one might expect in drill core. Whilst there is no doubt that the Niton can often over or under estimate values, our geologists have never before encountered a situation where the values reported by the Niton exaggerate the actual (assayed) values by such a degree.

2. The Niton had recently been serviced and calibrated correctly by the manufacturer’s agent in Johannesburg.

3. The operator of the Niton had been properly trained by our geologists and was supervised during most of the readings.

4. The higher Niton metal values appeared to coincide with the areas of greatest alteration. This appeared to confirm the Niton’s ability to determine metal values.

5. Kavango had not used or tested this exact model of the Niton previously on core samples but it had been tested with the standards supplied by the manufacturer.

6. We have recently become aware that a number of Niton users have reported that the instrument occasionally has difficulty in distinguishing cobalt (Co) from Iron (Fe). See “The Influence of Spectral Interferences on Critical Element Determination with Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF)” by Gallhoffer & Lottermoser, in Minerals. July 2018.”

7. It does appear that the high values of cobalt identified by the Niton coincided with high values detected for iron. But the very high levels of iron detected by the Niton (up to 39%) were not repeated in the assays.

8. Investigations into why the Niton was consistently over estimating metal values in the core are being conducted both by Kavango’s geologists and technicians from the Niton’s agent in Johannesburg –Spectrometer Technologies.

9. As yet there seems to be no clear explanation as to why the Niton consistently predicted Nd and Pr values at over 0.2 and 0.1% respectively, whilst assay results showed average values of 23.15ppm and 6.27ppm respectively (a difference of several orders of magnitude).

10. However, Kavango believe that one possible explanation is that ions of REEs and other metals dissolved in hydrothermal fluids were precipitated onto the surface of grains within the (permeable) sediments but did not penetrate into the interior of these grains. The Niton is only able to detect the elements that are reflected back to the instrument from the surface of the grains, whilst the full assay method requires the entire sample to be crushed and pulverised into a fine powder and is thus more representative of the “whole rock”.

11. The erroneous Niton values for Nd and Pr together with exaggerated values for a number of other REEs, led Kavango to suggest that Ditau alteration zone might contain economic resources of rare earths.

Naturally, the Company has determined not to use this tool for predicting metal values in core for future drilling campaigns until (and if) a satisfactory explanation for the inconsistencies found in the Ditau drilling can be fully explained and mitigated.

Q. Why did it take Kavango so long to publish the assay results from the Ditau Project?

A. The final batch of assay results were received from Genalysis Laboratories in Australia on the 26th June. It took several days for the company to evaluate the results and to determine why there was considerable inconsistencies between the assays and the values suggested by the Niton. At that stage the company were not able to publish the results because checks and repeats were necessary to determine whether Genalysis might have reported incorrect results. The results of the Genalysis repeats were received on the 19th July but the check assays submitted the referee laboratory (SGS) were not received until the 29th July. The public statement concerning the results of the check assays was issued on the 2nd August.

The company deemed it essential that no public announcement concerning the assays was made until its technical staff were confident that they had been properly checked.

Q. What now for Kavango’s Ditau Project? Given the results from the first two holes, does Kavango intend to continue with the exploration or farm it out (if it can)?

A. Ditau still remains a highly prospective target. The two holes are 1.8km apart. The alteration extends from around 140m to at least 550m in depth. This suggests that a very large volume of rock has undergone alteration, much more than would expected from the intrusion of a normal mafic rock (gabbro) or even a granite. The most likely explanation is that the rocks intersected at Ditau have been altered by large volumes of alkali rich hydrothermal fluids and gases, a process called “fenitization”. Fenitization is the (often extensive) alteration “halo” that is produced by the intrusion of Carbonatite (sometimes extrusive). Carbonatites are an extreme form of alkali magmatism consisting predominantly of calcium/magnesium carbonate and alkali minerals (sodic or potassic).

These carbonatites typically form “ring structures” due to their lithological complexity and their tendency to “dome” the surrounding geology leading to apparent “rings” after erosion has worn down the overlying formations. Ten of these ring structures can be seen from the magnetic maps of the original Ditau prospecting licence (PL).

Fig.1. PL169/2012 showing the “ring structures”

Carbonatites have been mined in many locations around the world for phosphates, magnetite, strontium, niobium, rare earth elements and even copper. See Carbonatites: related ore deposits, resources, footprint, and exploration methods: George J. Simandl & Suzanne Paradis. Applied Earth Science: 2018. The article quotes

“Carbonatites and alkaline-carbonatite complexes are the main sources of rare earth elements (REE) and Nb, and host significant deposits of apatite, vermiculite, Cu, Ti, fluorite, Th, U, natural zirconia, and Fe. Nine per cent of carbonatites and alkaline-carbonatite complexes contain active or historic mines, making them outstanding multicommodity exploration targets”.

It has recently come to the notice of Kavango that the Canadian mining company, Falconbridge discovered 3 carbonatites within 10km of Ditau in 1973. Apparently 2 boreholes were drilled. The company’s geologists are currently trying to track down all the data related to this discovery and if possible locate the original drill core. It is also known that several kimberlites have been discovered close to Ditau. Kimberlites are often found in association with Carbonatites.

Kavango has recently been granted a new Prospecting Licence (965km2) - contiguous with the Ditau PL, which appears to contain another 5 “ring structures”. It would seem therefore that there are at least 10 “ring structures within Kavango’s ground (excluding the Falconbridge discoveries). This would suggest the presence of a, hitherto unrecognised, alkali igneous complex within which mineral deposits may be located.

Importantly, the alteration identified in the recent drilling at Ditau strongly suggests that the carbonatites associated with these “ring structures” are most likely to be of late Karoo age and therefore close to surface. In all probability they would be found just below the Kalahari-Karoo interface (15 -25m from surface) and thus available to open pit mining techniques.

So there is no question of Kavango losing interest in the Ditau prospect. On the contrary, there is a great deal of work to do. Firstly to confirm the presence of carbonatite (or rocks related to carbonatite) in the upper Karoo and then to evaluate as many carbonatites as possible within the ground held by the company. This will certainly require more detailed geophysical surveys and probably fence lines of shallow holes.

This work has already begun.

However, Kavango recognises that given its commitments to the exploration of the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ), a major exploration program to search for mineralisation associated with carbonatites at Ditau is currently beyond the financial resources of the company. This is why the company has initiated discussions with potential partners with a view to a JV on the Ditau project.

This article marks the second in a series of quarterly Q&A sessions between MiningMaven and Kavango on the behalf of Kavango’s investors. If you have any questions you would like answered in the next piece then please feel free to contact MiningMaven at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via our Twitter feed @theminingmaven.

Oriole Resources (LSE:ORR) sat at 0.37p with a market cap of £2.6m on Monday morning after revealing positive drilling progress at its 85pc-owned Dalafin gold project in eastern Senegal.

The firm said that significant local player IAMGOLD, which owns an option to earn up to 70pc in Dalafin, has now completed 4,167m of a planned 5,000m drilling programme on a prospect called Madina Bafé. The shallow aircore (AC) drilling identified numerous new gold anomalies at more than 20 parts per billion (ppb). Indeed, highlights include a best grade of 235ppb as well as 157ppb, 138ppb and 104ppb. IAMGOLD’s 869 holes have also identified a 3.5km-long northeast-trending anomaly at the south of Madina Bafé and a 2km-long northeast-trending anomaly in the north of the prospect.

IAMGOLD is earning-in to an initial 51pc interest in Dalafin by spending $4m on exploration over four years. It can increase its stake to 70pc by funding an additional $4m over the subsequent two years. The company is currently in year two of its earn-in and is focusing on exploration in the southernmost Madina Bafé and Saroudia prospects. It is focusing on these two prospects first because they are closest to its 2.49MMoz Boto gold project.  Given that the sites are within trucking distance to Boto, IAMGOLD hopes to use them as feed for its planned mine.

The business has now stopped work for the west season, with plans in place to resume its $1m programme of work in October. This is expected to see it follow-up on best results to date at Madina Bafé with a 4,000m RC drilling programme. The organisation also plans to complete 2,500m of AC drilling at the Saroudia prospect, which it will then follow with 1,600m of RC drilling to chase up highlight results.

Oriole’s chief executive Tim Livesey said the business was ‘very pleased’ with IAMGOLD’s latest drilling progress at Madina Bafé, adding: ‘The identification of yet more gold targets has expanded our area of interest in the south of Madina Bafé to a substantial 16km2. The identification of a further 2km long anomaly several kilometres north of this, leaves us convinced of the more prospective nature of our Dalafin licence within this highly endowed geological terrane. We are confident that follow-on RC Drilling will provide further definition of these targets at Madina Bafé, and that more anomalism will be identified as the programme extends to the Saroudia area.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

What is a ‘story stock’? For those who don’t know – it’s used by many investors to refer to companies that sell a story and sell shares, rather than create value.

It’s similar to the ‘jam tomorrow’ phrase – whereby someone believes the company is the declarer of a never-fulfilled promise (this originates from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There).

These stocks always have an exciting technology, which is going to revolutionise the world or disrupt an entire industry. While these businesses offer a great story, the harsh reality is that they very often suffer from setback upon setback. This, in turn, creates a cash-call, and shareholders become diluted – often into oblivion.

It’s a proven fact that these stocks generate more bulletin board interest than those companies that are actually generating profit and cash. If you ask a person on the street which company they’d rather invest in – Company A, which makes no money, or Company B, which does make money, they’re always likely to pick Company B (why would you want to lose money?). Yet, the average person on the street says one thing and does another.

This piece was first published on our sister site ValueTheMarkets.com on 30/07/2019. To read it in full, please click here…

Author: Michael Taylor

You can learn more by downloading Michael’s fantastic free book How to Make Six Figures in Stocks. This can be downloaded from his website – https://www.shiftingshares.com/

 

Difficult commodity market conditions have pushed shares in Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) down from 2.1p to their current 0.7p over the past year. However, against this harsh backdrop, the £3.22m explorer has been making stellar progress across its vast portfolio of gold and copper opportunities based near processing plants and refineries in Queensland, Australia. With Rockfire readying the exploration of its Copperhead project, alongside the numerous gold prospects within its Lighthouse tenement, CEO David Price tells us why now would be an excellent time to buy.

Wealth of experience

Rockfire Resources is run as a commercially-minded company, seeking to return an increase on investment capital to shareholders. The means of achieving this is by exploring for and developing economic gold and copper deposits in world-class mineralised areas. The company’s portfolio is currently centred on Queensland Australia, where it is the sole owner of several medium-grade, near-surface gold prospects positioned among multi-million-ounce gold deposits and processing plants. Alongside these more immediate revenue opportunities, the firm controls two large-scale porphyry copper prospects that lie within 250km of Australia’s largest copper refinery.

 

Location of Rockfire Resources’ projects in Australia (Source: Company)

Backing up Rockfire’s strong portfolio is a management team boasting considerable experience in areas such as mining and financing. Indeed, chief executive David Price, who joined in 2017, is a seasoned geologist and senior executive with more than three decades of global mining experience, including 20 years spent securing funding for projects. Notably, he also holds the highest category possible for a geologist as a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Meanwhile, chairman Gordon Hart has more than 35 years of experience in the equity capital advisory markets. He has spent the last 12 years as MD of Venture Group Equities, where he has advised on transactions involving more than $300m of funding.

Rockfire has also gone to great lengths to ensure that its interests are aligned strongly with investors. All-in-all, directors and management own 20.8pc of the company’s issued share capital, with Price and Hart holding 3.15pc and 2.04pc respectively. Notably, the organisation’s largest shareholder is its non-executive director Nicholas Walley, who holds 11.91pc of its shares.

Shining opportunities

Rockfire has delivered considerable news flow across both its near-to-medium-term and longer-term projects so far this year. Across its more immediate prospects, the firm’s most notable area of progress recently has perhaps been its 100pc-held Lighthouse tenement, based within Queensland’s gold mining centre.

Lighthouse, which contains numerous known styles of gold and copper mineralisation, straddles two of the most productive structural corridors on the east coast of Australia. These host projects such as Mt Leyshon, which hosts 4Moz gold and 2.3Moz silver, Pajingo, which hosts 3.7Moz gold, Ravenswood, which contains more than 4Moz gold, and Charters Towers, which comprises more than 7Moz gold. Rockfire is targeting similar multi-million-ounce deposits across its tenements, where 4,500m of drilling has been completed historically by major players like Esso, Newcrest, and Aberfoyle.

Rockfire’s most advanced Lighthouse prospect is currently Plateau, where a successful 2017 drilling campaign returned intersections such as 22m at 1.9g/t gold and 22.3g/t silver (from 39m depth) and 10m at 1.90g/t gold and 9.0g/t silver (from 18m depth). According to the firm, these results suggest the potential for a high-grade gold deposit bearing a geological resemblance to the high-profile, nearby Mt Wright and Mt Leyshon deposits.

Beyond Plateau, this year has seen Rockfire reveal numerous substantial developments at another significant Lighthouse prospect called Double Event. Here, successful historical drilling by major players has mapped quartz veining over a strike length of more than 3km in an east-west direction.

Rockfire’s Lighthouse tenements (Source: Company)

Since taking control of Double Event, Rockfire has been working hard to build upon these early signs of prospectivity. For example, the business completed two drilling campaigns on the prospect last year, encountering high grades such as 3m at 10.04g/t gold (from 27m depth) and 2m at 4g/t gold (from 15m depth). As well as once again confirming that high grades could be achieved at Double Event, Rockfire said the results suggested that the project become a near-surface, medium-grade gold deposit with additional drilling.

To develop its understanding of Double Event, the firm has gone on to complete a great deal of soil sampling at the prospect this year. The results of the first wave of this work, which were released in February, included impressive gold-in-soil results of up to 0.23g/t, with five samples exceeding 0.1g/t gold. As well as enhancing Double Event’s prospectivity for hosting near-surface, high-grade gold, many of the most robust results originated from an unexplored area to the north of Rockfire’s previous drilling. According to the firm, this appears to indicate the presence of a parallel, mineralised vein and, in turn, another target to increase potential gold ounces at the prospect.

In response, Rockfire launched a second wave of soil sampling, targeting areas beyond the limits of the first area surveyed. Among the areas covered by this work, which comprised 424 soil samples and 12 rock samples, was the western extension of Double Event’s mineralised trend, hosted within Rockfire’s adjacent Kookaburra tenement. In May, the business revealed that its additional efforts had recovered gold-in-soil results up to 3.86g/t gold and rock samples up to 58.5g/t gold. This helped to extend Double Event’s total strike length of prospectivity to 4.5km while also identifying well-defined mineralised intervals to assist with future drill targeting. Gold-in-soil values appear to strengthen towards the west and the anomalous gold-in-soil footprint broadens westwards, suggesting a potential source in that direction.

Rockfire is now planning the geophysical surveys needed to take Double Event to its next stage of development. The company expects techniques such as induced polarisation to provide information at depth that will support target generation for future drill holes down to 100m below surface.

‘Whenever we do work at Double Event, we improve our knowledge of the site and are encouraged by what we see- the results are very pleasing,’ he adds. ‘It is an ongoing programme for us. As it stands, we do not know what is present at a depth of more than 25m below surface. Instead of drilling random holes in the hope of finding gold, we want to do geophysics and mapping to find significant accumulations of sulphides at depth that will help to pinpoint our drilling targets.’

It is worth noting that Rockfire’s progress across the Lighthouse and Kookaburra tenements over the last year is not limited to Double Event alone. Indeed, in December, a review of historical data at Kookaburra highlighted outstanding past drilling results at a prospect called Native Bee, six miles northeast of Plateau.

Previous work at Native Bee, which lies on a 500m magnetic anomaly near the Pajingo gold mine processing facility, returned strong intervals such as 8m at 2.18g/t gold, including 3m at 5.13g/t gold from 26m deep. With this in mind, Rockfire believes that the prospect offers considerable exploration potential and future work will target a medium-to-large-scale, near-surface gold resource.

Meanwhile, April saw Rockfire announce that soil sampling at the Cardigan Dam prospect on its Lighthouse tenement had returned two broad gold-in-soil anomalous trends sized at c.400m x c.100m each. With gold appearing to strengthen towards the north of the strike area and beyond the limits of the survey, the firm will extend soil sampling to the north to explore the spread of surface mineralisation.

In July, Rockfire’s progress at Lighthouse prompted its release of a maiden gold resource for the asset. This assigned it an inferred resource 1,349,000ts at 1.18g/t gold for 51,000 ounces of the precious metal. The business’s next expansion resource target at Lighthouse is between 2.7-4.8 million tonnes grading between 1.2g/t and 1.6g/t gold.

In a statement at the time, Price said: ‘Rockfire is on an exciting and rapid growth curve and we are looking forward to further expansion of our copper and gold resources with continued exploration success. This result from our Maiden Resource at Lighthouse demonstrates and measures our exploration success to date and provides a sound platform for continued growth of the company's asset base.

‘The company's prudent strategy of sound science, thorough evaluation and methodical exploration is being rewarded with measurable asset valuation increase. Our ambition to define large-scale mineral resources is beginning to bear fruit and our recent Maiden Resource merely signals the start of our planned resource expansion. This JORC gold resource provides the catalyst for our anticipated growth.’

Long-term view

Moving on to longer-term copper porphyry opportunities, Rockfire plans to grow and expand mineralisation at its two porphyry copper deposits in Queensland; Copperhead and Copper Dome. Copperhead is an undeveloped, large-scale copper target found within a belt of porphyry copper deposits.

To date, five diamond drill holes have been completed at Copperhead, with each recording visible chalcopyrite, molybdenite, pyrite, and bornite throughout their lengths. These holes are thought to indicate the potential for a large copper, molybdenum and silver mineralised system. Indeed, an historical estimate by Carpentaria Exploration in 1972, quoted mineral content for the asset of 35Mt at 0.16% copper for 56,000ts of metal. This early estimate was based on just 5% of Copperhead’s large surface geochemical anomaly.

Rockfire took a significant step forward at Copperhead in June when it announced that it had enhanced Carpentaria’s metal estimate significantly by including the material levels of molybdenum present at the asset. Using the original tonnage and including molybdenum values from drilling, a copper equivalent grade of 0.35% is achieved. The amount of in-situ copper increased from 56,000ts of copper to 122,500ts of copper equivalent value. Based on current prices, this represents an in-ground value of £555m. In comparison, Rockfire’s market cap currently sits at £3.22m.

The Copperhead anomaly (Source: Company)

Rockfire has now developed a staged exploration target for the asset, with planned drilling expected to deliver the next milestone of between 50 – 100Mts, with a grade range of 0.3-0.4% copper equivalent. Price tells us that while both Copperhead and Copper Dome host grades typical of most porphyries, it is their sheer size that makes them such exciting opportunities for Rockfire:

‘The potential at both sites is for substantial tonnages at low grades. Porphyry copper is very much of that nature. If you get a large tonnage, then you can mine those open cuts at a low cost and recover huge amounts of copper. That is the objective for these large prospects. Porphyries take a lot of money and time to drill, but this is because they potentially represent billions of tonnes of low-grade mineralisation. We think these could be game-changing opportunities.’

Meanwhile, in May 2019, Rockfire took the decision to exercise an option to acquire the under-explored Copper Dome project, also in central Queensland and only 50km southwest of Copperhead. The business received the project in exchange for an A$80,000 (£44,000) cash and share payment to previous owner Symbolic Resources after entering an initial option in November last year. Its decision followed months of extended soil sampling, rock sampling, and geological mapping that identified coherent, strong anomalism and mineralisation of up to 23.4% copper and 2.3g/t gold.

This work, which spanned previously untested areas, confirmed that Copper Dome could contain high-grade, vein-hosted mineralisation as well as bolstering its porphyry-hosted mineralisation potential. Indeed, Rockfire said the results ‘exceeded expectations’, with copper grades in the soil hitting multiples of almost 80 times background levels. With copper-in-soil coming in strongest at the margins of mapped porphyries, it also confirmed numerous clear drilling targets for Rockfire as it moves the asset forward. As a bonus, mineralisation at the asset outcrops at surface, providing the opportunity for low-cost, near-surface exploration.

Now that it has acquired Copper Dome, Rockfire will expand its exploration into geophysics including ground magnetics and gradient array IP. These techniques are expected to identify clear targets in and around identified geochemical anomalies, ultimately informing drilling. Price explains that the company chose to carry out extensive fieldwork at Copper Dome before May to ensure it had targets ahead of exercising its option and acquiring the asset.

Time for a re-rate?

Despite boasting a portfolio of active exploration opportunities, Price tells us that Rockfire remains on the lookout for new assets that meet its strategic requirements. Indeed, acquisitions, which Rockfire refers to as ‘inorganic’ growth (as opposed to the ‘organic’ growth of its existing assets), are always on the horizon, with the business regularly reviewing new potential opportunities.

Reviewing new potential opportunities is an ongoing process for us,’ he says. ‘We are looking for sites where we see potential for material growth. We are not interested in taking on an asset solely because it boasts a large number of ounces – we want to be able to build on what it does offer and create value in that way. When looking at an asset, we like to think about how big it could be and how we can help it to get there.’

The company is open to a re-rate potentially triggered by continued exploration success across Lighthouse, Copperhead or any of the assets in its broader portfolio. A strengthening of macro conditions will only serve to further this effect, potentially leaving the company’s currently-depressed share price looking very cheap. With its highly experienced management team and portfolio of substantial exploration opportunities in a stable jurisdiction, it will be very interesting to watch Rockfire’s performance over both the short and long-term.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

Shares in Chesterfield Resources (LSE:CHF) enjoyed a significant boost on Thursday after the Cyprus-focused copper exploration company announced that it had identified a new drill target. The £2.63m business, which was up 11.8pc at 4.75p in midday trading, said the prospect is based in its Troodos West group of exploration permits and has been named KinValley.

The target – which is permitted and currently being prepared for drilling - is located at the northern end of a 15km-long fault structure called Kinousa, where multiple historical mines occur along two parallel trends. It is also found in the same trend as a cluster of historically-mined Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits. These are small but concentrated high-grade deposits typically surrounded by larger lower-grade mineralised vein systems.

Chesterfield has spent the past year carrying out mapping, sampling, geophysics, and drilling to build a high-quality database on KinValley The organisation’s work so far suggests that the new, previously-untested target will be a shallowly-buried VMS deposit preserved in favourable stratigraphy.

The organisation’s executive chairman Martin French said: ‘This is the second major target of our upcoming drill programme at Troodos West. Each of our targets goes through a rigorous development programme of surveying and testing before we commit to the more expensive stage of drill testing. We will keep the market updated as the programme develops further.’

Chesterfield entered Cyprus in 2017 and controls vast amounts of land around the foothills of the island’s Troodos mountains. As French explained to us in a feature interview earlier this year, Cyprus has a rich mining heritage and previously boasted a very active copper industry. However, this activity came to an abrupt halt in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.  Since then, a surprisingly small amount of exploration work has taken place- something that Chesterfield is using to its advantage.

Historical drilling has taken place across much of Chesterfield’s acreage. However, the firm believes that an opportunity exists in approaching the ground with superior geological understanding and modern exploration techniques and drilling technology. By doing this, it hopes to prove up economic mineral resources and open new mines.

To read a Q&A session with French published by MiningMaven in March, please click here.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

 

Israel-focused precious stones firm Shefa Gems (LSE:SEFA) inched up 2.9pc to 5.4p on Thursday following the news that one of its critical licences has been renewed. The commissioner of mines at the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources Administration in Israel has extended the company’s exploration permit in the north of the country for a further year.

The licence covers the Kishon River and Kishon Mid Reach Zones two and three and includes four volcanic bodies. These are based on a coastal mountain range Mount Carmel and are called RMS, Muhraka, Har Alon, and Beit Oren. The renewal of the permit, which covers 17,363 hectares, allows Shefa to continue its local geological exploration, which it expects to include further drilling and excavations.

In line with this, the business also confirmed that it is continuing to progress planning and regulatory for Kishon Mid Reach Zone one on Thursday. It hopes that these efforts will enable it to secure a mining licence to begin planned trial mining in the area next year. Furthermore, Shefa said that exploration work to expand its resources based in Kishon Mid Reach Zone three remains on schedule.

Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Gems, said the renewal of the organisation’s permit was an ‘important, symbolic step, that demonstrates the confidence held in the firm and its exploration programme by Turkish authorities.

‘With the additional funding secured in May 2019, we have been able to accelerate our exploration efforts in the Kishon Mid Reach area,’ he added. ‘Notably, the bulk samples recently collected from the campaign at Kishon Mid-Reach Zone 2 have begun treatment and analysis at the company's operational site in Akko. We look forward to sharing the results in due course.’

Formerly known as Shefa Yamim, Shefa Gems is a multi-commodity explorer of precious stones operating in Northern Israel.  Alongside its work on the ground, the company is building a jewellery collection called ‘Heaven on Earth’ that uses its suite of precious gemstones.

Last month, Shefa announced that it had excavated four new bulk samples and one mini-bulk sample from target gravel horizons in the Kishon Mid-Reach Zone two. The samples have been transported for treatment and analysis at its operational site in the nearby city of Akko.

This year’s work followed encouraging results from Shefa’s bulk sampling campaign last year. This produced a total of 105.65 carats of the Target Mineral Assemblage Suite with a total grade of 1.7 carats per tonne of gemstones, including Carmel Sapphire and sapphire.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Shares in Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) dipped 2pc to 4.8p on Wednesday morning despite the business revealing another strong drill result at its latest target in Zambia.

The £33.9m resources player said a hole called CHDDE004 drilled at its Cheyeza East target intersected 18m at 2.35pc copper from 30.6m, including 7.6m at 4.15pc copper from 39m. The hole was drilled around 300m south along strike from a hole that intersected 1.05pc copper over 25m from 2m depth and another that encountered 1.32pc copper over 28.5m from 18.6m depth.

According to Arc, its latest result supports the continuity of mineralisation along strike but also indicates that the width of the mineralisation is going to be ‘well over’ 100m wide. ‘[It] could be wider if the other holes drilled on this profile assay economic grades of copper,’ the firm added.

Cheyeza was one of several areas identified by geophysics and geochemistry work completed by Arc at its 66pc-owned Zamsort asset last year. Arc is particularly interested in a 3km by 0.8km area at Cheyeza East where up to 2,792 ppm copper has been identified in soil This is where the business has drilled all of its holes to date.

Arc’s executive chairman Nick von Schirnding called Wednesday’s result ‘fantastic’, adding that it ‘underscores what an exciting asset Cheyeza East is turning into’.

‘We believe that the upside potential is significant, and the shallow nature of these high-grade results is supportive of the economics going forward. I look forward to reporting on future drilling results over the next few months,’ he said.

Drilling will now continue at the anomaly to test its full extent, both along strike and down dip.

Another target identified by Arc at Zamsort last year was Lumbeta, which stretches for 11km and is associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits. Upon announcing the discoveries in February, Arc’s executive chairman von Schirnding said they could represent a ‘potential game-changer’ for the firm.

Earlier this month, Arc announced that it had identified another large target at Zamsort called West Lunga, which has demonstrated anomalous copper over a 6km strike, with peak values of 463ppm. The West Lunga target is located in the western part of the Zamsort & Zaco licences and targets the same horizon that hosts the world-class Kamoa deposit.

Elsewhere, Arc is continuing to develop its more advanced Kalaba prospect at Zamsort. Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines.  The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future

 

Tuesday morning saw MetalNRG (LSE:MNRG) announce its admission to listing on the official list and to trading on the London Stock Exchange.

The business, which was previously listed on the NEX exchange, invests in companies and projects in the precious and strategic metals space that offer the potential for growth or value creation. It either does this through direct investments, where it takes majority stakes and board positions in an asset, or through indirect investments. 

MetalNRG already boasts a number of interests across its portfolio. For example, it owns project called Gold Ridge in Arizona – one of America’s most mining friendly jurisdictions. Gold Ridge covers around 2,305 acres and includes three historical producing gold mines worked at various intervals between discovery in 1877 and 1996. It also houses at least three high-grade gold deposits within its 5.2km shear zone strike that have not been explored using modern drilling techniques.

MetalNRG believes that Gold Ridge offers substantial potential for the discovery of further gold mineralisation and for establishing compliant resources. Indeed, based on historical mining data, the asset’s exploration target already ranges from 27koz gold to 43koz.

Elsewhere, MetalNRG owns a 32km exploration licence in the highly prospective Pilbara region of Western Australia called Palamino. The asset is based around 210km south-east of Port Hedland and is prospective for both cobalt and gold, with significant evidence of the former mineral being discovered during surveying and sampling on-site in the 1970s.

Likewise, several companies are reported to have located a potentially substantial amount of gold in nearby areas of the under-exploration region based on similar geologies. MetalNRG will work to assess the area’s gold potential alongside its cobalt prospectivity.

Meanwhile, MetalNRG also holds a proposed farm-in to the Kamushanovskoye uranium project in Kyrgyzstan.  Based 48km from the Kyrgyz Republic’s capital city and within 550km of three uranium refineries, Kamushanovskoye covers 4,078 hectares and contains a peat-hosted uranium oxide deposit.

Kamushanovskoye has been assigned a JORC-compliant measured and indicated resource of 3.604Mlb triuranium octoxide and an inferred resource of 1.939Mlb triuranium octoxide. The project is also believed to boast potential exploration upside of 2.58Mlb uranium from a partially-explored zone alongside as-yet-untested, prospective ground.

Alongside farm-in partner International Mining Company, MetalNRG is awaiting to see the long-term impact of a national ban on uranium exploration on Kamushanovskoye, which is classified as a clean-up operation.

Finally, on the indirect investment side of its operations, MetalNRG holds a significant position in Cobra Resources (LSE:COBR). Last year saw Cobra take on a firm called Lady Alice Mine’s farm-in to up to a 75pc position in an advanced South Australian gold project called Wudinna. This boasts a mineral resource estimate of 4.43MMts ore at 1.5g/t gold for 211,000oz.

It also took control of Prince Alfred, a historic copper mine located around 100km north-east of a town called Port Augusta in South Australia.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Tuesday saw Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) confirm its exit from Papua New Guinea, leading shares in the Australia-focused business to inch down 3.33p to 0.65p.

The business’s move came after Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Mining decided not to renew its Nakru licence, which has been under review since September 2017. In reaching this conclusion, the minister noted that Rockfire had held the tenement since 2012 but had not identified any resources.

With Nakru representing Rockfire’s one remaining licence in Papua New Guinea, the organisation will now be able to maximise its focus on its 100pc-owned large-scale gold and copper projects in Queensland.

These include Copperhead, which is a coherent surface copper anomaly covering 3km by 2km in area. Five diamond drill holes in 1972 encountered visible copper and molybdenum minerals, including two that were 300m long. Results from all the samples collected at Copperhead average 0.35pc copper equivalent.

According to Rockfire’s chief executive David Price, the project potentially hosts a minimum of 300m of continuous copper mineralisation as all existing holes terminate with visible copper minerals still present. As such, the business is preparing for its maiden drilling program at the asset.

Meanwhile, the business also owns a long-term porphyry copper project called Copper Dome, where previous drilling has encountered very promising intercepts. These include 15m at 0.88pc copper, including 4.5m at 2.28pc copper, 12m at 0.61pc copper, including 3m at 1.24pc copper. and 51m at 0.20g/t gold.

On today’s news, Price said the following: ‘Today's announcement signifies the Group's exit from Papua New Guinea, a process which began almost two years ago under the direction of the then new management team, with the objective of focusing on more favourable jurisdictions and prospects that, the directors believe, can be more readily advanced to a JORC resource. This has recently been supported by our maiden gold resource at Lighthouse in Queensland, something we also plan to achieve at our Copperhead Project, also in Queensland.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

  1. Kavango receives Ditau assay results as it positions for asset farm-out (KAV)
  2. ‘The opportunity value is huge’ – Cobra Resources’ Craig Moulton on his plans to create value as firm prepares development of maiden assets
  3. Kazera spikes as Namibia resource estimates exceed expectations (KZG)
  4. Arc Minerals up 38pc week-on-week after identifying a large new target at Zamsort (ARCM)
  5. Arc Minerals spikes as Cheyeza drilling results impress (ARCM)
  6. ‘We are in a strong strategic position’: Heddle and Baxter on their plans and outlook for Greatland Gold (GGP)
  7. The MiningMaven Q&A: Kavango Resources’ Chief Geologist, Mike Moles (June 2019)
  8. Asiamet dips as it reveals feasibility study results for major project in Indonesia (ARS)
  9. View From The City: Will Asiamet be an obvious take-out target if the copper market turns? (ARS)
  10. Horizonte Minerals jumps as strong samples verify Vermelho processing plans (HZM)
  11. The MiningMaven Q&A: Kavango Resources’ Chief Geologist, Mike Moles (June 2019)
  12. Global Energy to accelerate Nevada cobalt assets with groundbreaking recovery process (GEMC)
  13. Conroy falls despite revealing drilling progress at Slieve Glah gold target (CGNR)
  14. Hummingbird says early estimates from updated Life of Mine plan show ‘significant improvements’ to production and costs (HUM)
  15. Interview: Paul Johnson of African Battery Metals on the firm’s multiple exploration activities (ABM)
  16. Rockfire acquires Copper Dome Project after sampling shows excellent signs for gold and copper mineralisation (ROCK)
  17. Greatland Gold reveals major drilling updates at Havieron and Paterson Range East (GGP)
  18. Katoro Gold and African Battery welcome in ‘exciting’ soil sampling results at Haneti (KAT, ABM)
  19. African Battery kicks off copper-nickel exploration work in Cameroon (ABM)
  20. Oriole Resources rises as it reveals portfolio progress and highlights market undervaluation (ORR)

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