African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) advanced 5.6pc to 4.8p on Monday afternoon after announcing that it has begun exploration activities at its copper-nickel project in Cameroon. The £1.7m business, which was trading at 0.47p on Tuesday morning, will carry out a pit excavation programme at the asset to a maximum depth of 15m per individual pit.

This work, which is due to start immediately so it can complete before the onset of heavy rains, will include mapping and sampling of each excavated pit. These samples will be tested in South Africa following completion of fieldwork and used to produce a database of prospect information complementing historical work carried out on site.

African Battery is testing for cobalt and nickel mineralisation at depth to reflect work conducted by Geovic Mining at its nearby licences. This demonstrated that mineralised horizons were below 6m. Specifically, African Battery wishes to test the theory that its licence interests show geological similarity to the nearby Nkamouna deposit. Here, Geovic published a NO 43-101-compliant total measured, indicated, and inferred mineral resource of 323Mt at 0.21pc cobalt, 0.61pc nickel, and 1.26pc manganese.

African Battery’s developments in Cameroon come around a month since it recommenced exploration at its 70pc-owned Kisinka copper-cobalt project in the DRC. Last week, the firm revealed that it had completed a field programme at the asset, collecting a total of 663 termite mound samples. The organisation is now carrying out sample preparation, which is scheduled to end shortly. After this, it will carry out X-ray fluorescence spectrometry analysis to identify anomalous levels of copper and cobalt.

In Monday’s update, African Battery’s executive director Paul Johnson said the firm’s approach to Cameroon would be similar to its work in the DRC.

‘As with Kisinka, we have opted to focus our initial exploration spend in a highly targeted manner, answering a simple exploration question and namely, do the identified target areas have geological similarity to the nearby Nkamouna deposit,’ he said. ‘If the answer is positive, the impact on the value of the project to the Company could be dramatic and certainly disproportionately beneficial against the underlying modest cost of conducting the planned pitting and sampling programme.’

Elsewhere, this month saw African Battery unveil a significant acquisition and earn-in agreement in Botswana. The business has acquired an 18.26pc stake in an exploration and geological consultancy company called Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,821.

Kalahari Key, established by Roger Key, Andy Moore, Simon Bate, and Rick Bonner in November 2014, is the 100pc owner of Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana. Furthermore, African Battery has also secured the right to earn-in to a 40pc direct interest in MFC by spending $500,000 on the project by 31 December next year. This money would go towards ground exploration at the project, expected to include the drilling of high priority targets.

MFC is made up of three exploration licences covering 2,725km2 that are thought to be prospective for nickel, PGM, and copper mineralisation. As well as acquiring all of the project’s historical exploration data, Kalahari Key has undertaken a high-resolution, helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey on the area. This work identified 17 key zones of conductive rocks now being used to construct a priority list of targets for follow-up ground exploration.

To read MiningMaven’s recent interview with Johnson on his plans for African Battery moving forward, please click here.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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