Shares in Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) rose 5.4pc to 3.1p on Monday morning after the firm revealed two ‘potentially game-changing’ new targets in northwestern Zambia.
The business released the initial results of an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence owned by Zamsort. Arc holds a 66pc equity interest in Zamsort together with a convertible loan that converts into an additional c.5pc stake in the private business.
The work revealed seven new anomalies, the largest of which are Cheyeza West and Lumbeta. Cheyeza West contains a 3km-by-3km anomaly outlined by very high copper values in the soils enclosed by the wider 10km-by-8km Cheyeza anomaly. Furthermore, a co-incident electromagnetic anomaly over the core has indicated conductivity within the host rock.
Meanwhile, the Lumbeta target 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. Details of the six further identified targets are presented in the chart below.
Arc expects to release a more detailed update ‘shortly’ once it has assessed the results of the programme thoroughly with its external exploration consultants.
Executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said Cheyeza West and Lumbeta are close to ten times the size of Kalaba, currently Zamsort’s primary focus. 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. With this in mind, von Schirnding added that Monday’s discoveries represent a ‘potential game changer’ for Arc.
‘The initial results from the airborne survey and soil sampling programme are extremely exciting and have exceeded all our expectations. It is clear that our licences lie in a very prospective mineral belt adjacent to Zambia's largest copper mines and we believe they have the potential to host not one but multiple large new copper deposits,’ he said. ‘We have been approached by some very large industry players and are in discussions. We continue to assess the data as it becomes available and look forward to reporting further on this shortly.’
Monday’s news comes just one week after Arc announced the imminent completion of a plant at Kalaba. In the update, the organisation said the back end of a commercial scale demonstration plant being constructed by Zamsort was ready for imminent commissioning. Initial production is scheduled shortly afterwards.
The business said the announcement followed a period of ‘excellent progress’ at Kalaba. In November, the company’s technical team completed the front end of the plant. This is made up of two crusher units, screen, a ball mill, and conveyors. This section was then commissioned in December, with an initial capacity to process 10,000ts of ore a month.
In last week’s update, Arc said the plant has a fully permitted, renewable mining licence through to 2025 and is funded through to initial production. It added that it is also in discussions with several off-takers regarding future sales.
Arc also owns a 100pc interest in Casa Mining, a private company that has a 71.25pc stake in the Akyanga gold deposit in the DRC. At the end of July last year, the business rose 12.5pc after reporting that a JORC mineral resource for Akyanga had almost doubled to 3m ounces of gold averaging 2.16 grams per tonne.
Author: Daniel Flynn
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