Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) bounced 6.5pc to 3.3p on Tuesday morning after revealing ‘highly-encouraging’ drilling results at its Cheyeza copper target in Zambia.

The £23.3m explorer and developer said its maiden drill program confirmed the significant copper mineralisation discovered back in June. This was based within a 3km by 0.8km area of particular interest at Cheyeza East where Arc identified up to 2,792 parts per million copper.

On Tuesday, the company said that one of its holes in the area assayed 25m at 1.05pc copper from 2m depth including 1.7pc copper over 9.3m from 18.5m.  This intersection featured an even more impressive 13.34pc copper over 0.56m from 27.24m. Beyond this, another hole drilled 200m south also indicated significant mineralisation.

Cheyeza was one of several areas identified by geophysics and geochemistry work completed by Arc at its 66pc-owned Zamsort asset last year. The business said it has now deployed two rigs to the east of the asset so it can continue to test the full extent of its anomaly both along strike and down dip. It plans to prioritise targets for further, detailed exploratory activities.

Arc’s executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said Tuesday’s results ‘exceeded all our expectations both in terms of grade and thickness.’ He added: ‘While we are still at an early stage in the drilling programme, these results are highly encouraging and we have now deployed two rigs to Cheyeza East. Importantly our third hole 200 meters south also shows significant mineralization.’

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.

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

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