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

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