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

 

Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) fell 6.3pc to 3.75p on Thursday morning as it revealed that it had taken another step forward in the drilling of its Ditau Camp prospect Botswana.

The £6m exploration firm said it has now received assay results for two holes drilled earlier this year at the prospective site from a business called Genalysis Laboratories in Australia. Genanalysis assayed a total of 489 core samples prepared by Intertek Laboratories in Johannesburg for 65 elements. It then carried out 12 duplicate check assays, ran 14 control standards and 14 blanks during the assay run.

Having received the assay results, Kavango is now undertaking its own program of checks and duplicates at an independent laboratory as per standard industry practice.

Ditau Camp forms part of Kavango’s KSZ project in Botswana, where it is targeting the discovery of world-class mineral deposits at depth using industry-leading drilling and sampling techniques. The prospect is underlain by magnetic and gravity anomalies that suggest a 7km x 5km intrusive body at depth. The alteration zone was discovered using ground-based geophysical techniques.

In Thursday’s update, Kavango’s chief executive said: ‘We are pleased to have received the assay results from the two drill holes at Ditau. Kavango is now completing its own check assays at an independent laboratory in South Africa, which is normal industry practice. We will then be in a position to fully check, assess and interpret the results so as to formulate our plans for Ditau.’

He added that Kavango’s preferred option would be to farm-out Ditau Camp to an industry partner due to its size and the firm’s ongoing, primary focus on the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ) structure in south Botswana. Drilling is expected to begin at the 450km-long magnetic anomaly, on which the majority of Kavango’s 15 prospecting licences sit, later this year.

Kavango is exploring the trend for copper, nickel, and PGE-rich sulphide orebodies. Despite the area displaying a geological setting with distinct similarities to that hosting the world-class Norilsk Ni-Cu-PGE orebodies in Siberia, it has not previously been explored using modern techniques.

Thursday’s news comes just several days after Kavango announced that it had acquired a new prospecting licence at Ditau. The new area covers 916.4km2 to the south-west of the organisation’s existing licence and includes the extensions of the Ditau geological and geophysical structures that have potential for base metal mineralisation. In a statement, Foster said that Kavango felt that the new licence could be ‘instrumental in the farming-out of Ditau.

To read our recent investor Q&A session with Kavango Resources’ chief geologist Mike Moles, 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

After listing as a cash shell in November, Cobra Resources (LSE:COBR) unveiled the first major step in its plans to take advantage of a decade-long lack of natural resources development projects investment in March. The business acquired the rights to a $5m farm-in over a highly prospective gold project called Wudinna, that already has a JORC compliant resource, which the management believe can be built on substantially and has the potential to develop into a multi-million-ounce gold operation. It also has complete ownership of an underexplored copper mine called Prince Alfred. With Cobra gearing up for major work programmes at both of the South Australia-based assets, we asked new MD Craig Moulton why he thinks investors should get on at the ground floor when the firm resumes trading.

Under-valued opportunities

Cobra Resources is an exploration and mining company formed to take advantage of a significant lack of investment in natural resources development projects over the last decade. The firm believes weak market conditions have given rise to many opportunities to buy undervalued and advanced assets that are currently orphaned because of their operators’ restricted capital. The organisation will only approach an opportunity if it believes it is attractively valued and can be developed into a sustainable operation through the application of disciplined and structured exploration and analysis.

Backing up these ambitious goals is Cobra’s strong commercial and technical management team who collectively boast more than 100 years of experience in the natural resources sector.

Leading the firm is Craig Moulton, who was hired as managing director in March this year. Moulton is a geologist and mineral economist who has spent 25 years in senior roles at firms like Rio Tinto, Cliffs, and Wood Mackenzie. Working alongside Moulton is non-executive director Rolf Gerritsen, Cobra’s founding chief executive, who will be well-known to UK junior mining investors as the chief executive of Metal NRG.

Finally, fellow non-executive director Greg Hancock is a corporate finance specialist who has spent more than 35 years in the capital markets of Australia and the UK. Alongside Cobra, he holds board positions at Ausquest, BMG Resources, Zeta Petroleum, Strata X Energy, Golden State Mining, and King Island Scheelite.

Cobra listed as a cash shell in London last November alongside a £523,500 placing at 1.5p a share that valued it at c.£1m. It also issued warrants on a one-for-one basis that will raise an additional £1.3m if they are all exercised. The firm immediately started to evaluate acquisition opportunities before announcing the suspension of its shares this March when it purchased a business called Lady Alice Mines.

Developing Wudinna

As part of March’s transaction, Cobra took on Lady Alice’s farm-in agreement with ASX-listed Andromeda Metals for an advanced South Australian gold project called Wudinna. Once owned by Newcrest, Wudinna comprises six under-explored tenements covering 1,928km2 in the Central Gawler Gold province. This is a 450km arcuate belt containing well-known gold deposits like the Tunkillia and Tarcoola projects and Alliance Resources’ Weednanna asset.

Mineralisation at Wudinna is hosted by shallow-plunging, stacked, quartz-pyrite veins, meaning it is under shallow cover. However, advanced geochemical sampling techniques to date have proved useful in locating high-grade mineralisation.

Last month saw Cobra update its mineral resource estimate for Wudinna to 4.43MMts of ore at 1.5g/t gold for 211,000oz using a 0.5g/t gold cut-off grade. Digging deeper, the asset’s three primary deposits, Barns, Baggy Green, and White Tank, are estimated to house 104,000oz, 94,400oz, and 13,000oz of gold respectively.

Cobra was able to increase Wudinna’s total estimated gold by 5pc and its resource tonnes by 15pc without carrying out any drilling. Instead, it approached the three deposits with a different mineralisation interpretation and variography than that used in previous estimates. Moulton says this bodes well for Cobra approach to the project moving forward:

We now have a much better understanding of the geological continuity at the project.. That is exciting from a resource point of view. It then flows into how you do your exploration. We have a number of targets, and we can now approach these with a better understanding of the geology. We have also done more work around the geochemistry, so we are creating a really solid exploration model. I think the resource upgrade demonstrated the value that can be unlocked at Wudinna.

Under the terms of Lady Alice’s farm-in, Cobra can spend £5m at Wudinna over three stages to earn a 75pc interest in the project. Specifically, the first stage enables Cobra to earn a 50pc position in the project by spending A$2.1m on exploration within three years of the farm-in being agreed. It can then obtain a 65pc stake by paying another A$1.65m over a further two-year window and a 75pc position by spending a final $1.25m during an additional 12-month period.

Map showing deposits and anomalies currently located on Cobra’s Wudinna project

Cobra’s plans to spend its money on following up on what it believes to be a continuity of mineralisation across Wudinna’s three primary deposits. Meanwhile, the company also plans to work on the six additional, priority target anomalies it has defined across the project, some of which boast larger geochemical signatures than both Barns and Baggy Green. With Wudinna’s named deposits currently covering a very small portion of its total area, Moulton says new target anomalies will be pivotal in realising the asset’s actual value moving ahead.

‘We are talking about working on an orebody that is very interesting geologically, we know we are within a mineralised system, and has been completely underexplored. New targets can help resources get to multiples of where they currently sit. This is not greenfield exploration; this is really advanced exploration into resource development. What’s more, we are getting it at early exploration prices.’

The remainder of 2019 will see Cobra complete test modelling at its six priority targets and test resource extensions at Baggy Green. This latter work will see it test mineralisation at Baggy Green far-North, check northern and southern extensions of Baggy Green South, and complete infill geochemical sampling. Following this, the firm hopes to define new resources at two to three of its best drill results in 2020 with the ultimate aim of doubling or tripling its existing JORC resource to more than 1MMoz of gold.

Added bonus

As part of the Lady Alice acquisition, Cobra has also taken control of Prince Alfred, a historic copper mine located around 100km north-east of a town called Port Augusta in South Australia. Mineralisation at the project is stratiform and believed to be shear-hosted with grades mined historically of around 5pc copper.

Although no records remain, Prince Alfred was discovered in 1866 and operated between 1869 and 1874 and early parts of the twentieth century. Work ultimately ceased as a result of technical limitations and a collapse in copper prices. All-in-all, it has been estimated that around 40,000ts of ore at about 5pc copper have been recovered from the project over the years to a depth of 170 feet.

Prince Alfred copper mine, 1915

To date, the depth of mineralisation at Prince Alfred is yet to be tested. South Australia’s Mines Department came close in 1960 when it drilled two holes to check beneath the mine. However, one hole stopped short of mineralisation due to a miscalculation, and the other is thought to have tested outside the southern boundary of the mineralised structure. Cobra aims to change this over 2018 by examining the deeper mineralisation with five to seven holes and downhole geophysics. If this work is successful, then the business will then get to work on a further programme aimed at defining a JORC resource of between 1-2MMts at 2-5pc copper at the asset.

With Prince Alfred coming as something of a bonus alongside Wudinna in the Lady Alice deal, Moulton said the low cost of work means the asset offers no downside or risk compared to a large amount of upside potential.

‘Prince Alfred is brownfield exploration targeting extensions of copper ore from an existing orebody. It is something we can test quickly before deciding on whether it represents a significant opportunity. If it does not, then we will simply divert the allocated funds into advancing Wudinna. On the other hand, if it is successful, then the opportunity value is huge.’

Community support

Alongside their prospectivity, Moulton believes the location of Cobra’s assets will give the business a critical advantage over some of its peers moving forward. Indeed, not only is South Australia an extremely stable jurisdiction with a rich history of mining, Cobra’s board has already been able to use its strong understanding of the area to progress discussions with regulators.

‘South Australia is a supportive jurisdiction with a clear and predictable regulatory framework. Unlike many other areas, the government is supportive of mining development and exploration as long as it is managed in a socially and environmentally sensitive way. . When we started talking to the local authorities, and they learned of our plans to list the assets in London, they were supportive. ‘This sort of partnership creates a positive dynamic from day one. While Cobra will have to meet all of the necessary environmental controls, the government wants us and other explorers to develop the next mine in South Australia.’

Over the long-term, Cobra hopes that its exposure to projects like Wudinna and Prince Alfred will position it strongly for the next forecast 'up-cycle' across commodities, . With this in mind, Moulton believes that Cobra’s return from suspension will represent an excellent time for investors to get in on the ground floor with a firm that is very much at the beginning of its journey.

It is all in front of Cobra in terms of value uplift,’ he says. ‘I think that the company boasts several highly attractive qualities, and the fact that our enterprise value will be incredibly low when we return from suspension only serves to emphasise this. We have plenty of experience, an option over a significant resource base in an established a mineralised system, and a considerable amount of upside potential. There is not going to be many investment opportunities where you can get exposure to over 200,000 ounces of gold in a portfolio at such a low price.

 

Cobra’s planned exploration milestone for 2019/20

Getting in at the ground floor

As well as being led by a knowledgeable and experienced management team, Cobra is set to acquire majority interests over two exciting assets – one boasting a gold resource and the other historic mining. Over the short-term, the firm’s exploration programmes will ensure a steady string of newsflow that, if its management’s instincts are correct, could be value generative. Looking into the future, any success at the two projects – and anything else the business adds to its portfolio – could position it very favourably when commodity markets conditions turn. A lot of this potential is, of course, speculative – as it always with an organisation as young as Cobra. However, the firm’s first steps and progress to date are highly encouraging and bode well for when it resumes trading.

 

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has 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 

Kazera Global (LSE:KZG) jumped by nearly a quarter to 2p on Friday morning after announcing a better-than-expected mineral resource for two of its major deposits in Namibia.

The investment company announced a maiden JORC-compliant combined total indicated and inferred tantalite mineral resources for the Homestead and Purple Haze deposits of 324,600ts with upside potential. The deposits form part of the Namibia Tantalite Investment (NTI) Mine, in which Kazera holds exposure through its stake in a business called African Tantalum.

The organisation went on to add that strong grades of tantalite were demonstrated across both deposits, with an average grade of 323ppm tantalum pentoxide including 911ppm at Purple Haze. Meanwhile, higher-than-anticipated lithium grades were encountered across both deposits, with an average grade of 4,410ppm lithium dioxide.

All-in-all, Kazera said Homestead’s resources were in line with pre-drill estimates, showing potential for economic tantalite and lithium potential. However, Purple Haze’s resources exceeded expectations with total indicated and inferred resources of 125.5 kt alongside an average tantalite grade of 459 ppm and average lithium grade of 5,259 ppm across the deposit.

The parties developing the NTI mine now plan to add further resources to the project through exploration at Homestead and Purple Haze alongside two additional deposits called White City and Signaalberg.

Kazera’s chief executive Larry Johnson added: ‘We are delighted by these initial results particularly those at Purple Haze where there exists significant opportunity to deliver high quantities and grades of both tantalite and lithium. The initial resource numbers at Purple Haze were ahead of what we initially expected and we look forward to additional resources there and at White City, Signaalberg and through additional drilling at Homestead.

‘With a water supply option, government certified via the Orange River, and a maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource confirmed, NTI continues to show the capacity to become a long-term mine for stable production. Today's result represents the first of a number of phases in identifying the total mineralization on the portfolio.’

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

The share price of Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) jumped 15pc to 3.88p in early trading on Thursday after the firm revealed it has identified a large new target at its flagship asset, Zamsort. The new target, called West Lunga, contains anomalous copper over a 6km strike, with peak concentrations of 463 parts per million (ppm) of copper identified.

West Lunga sits in the western part of Arc’s licences in Zambia and shares the same horizon as the world-class Kamoa deposit. The new find is one of eight high priority areas on the license located in the Central African Copperbelt. Arc holds a 66pc interest in the Zamsort asset via an equity holding in privately owned Zamsort Limited.

Nick von Schirnding, Executive Chairman of Arc commented: "This is very encouraging news - especially having been identified by the discovery team of Kamoa, one of the largest high-grade copper discoveries of recent times.  This development means we are going to review the ranking of our 14 priority drill targets and it is likely that we will prioritise West Lunga as one of our highest priority targets."

License area with the West Lunga target

Arc is also 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 joint venture operated by Anglo American. First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi, and Barrick’s Lumwana mines are close by. 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.

It’s been an exceptional week for those invested in Arc, with its share price leaping 38pc in the past 7 days. This was, in part, due to positive news released on Tuesday regarding its Cheyeza asset in Zambia. The company announced its maiden drilling campaign has confirmed significant copper mineralisation at Cheyeza East. Highlights included 25m @ 1.05pc Copper from 2m depth, including 1.7pc Copper over 9.3m from 18.5m. These initial holes were drilled in a 3km by 0.8km area where as much as 2,792 ppm of copper were identified in the soils.

The firm is continuing to drill to test the anomaly further, both along strike and down dip with an initial 1,200m diamond drill programme planned for each of the key targets. Once results are in from these exploratory drills, Arc will prioritise targets for more detailed work.

Von Schirnding said the drill results have ‘exceeded all our expectations both in terms of grade and thickness’ and highlights that a third hole located 200 metres south also showed significant mineralisation.

Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

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