Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) advanced 3.5pc to 1.5p on Tuesday morning after summarising its progress in Botswana towards the end of 2018 and laying down its exploration plans for the next 12 months.

Over the whole of 2018, Metal Tiger’s 30pm-owned joint ventures with MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) drilled a total of 148 holes in the country’s prospective Kalahari Copper Belt. Of these, the firms drilled 41 in the final quarter of the year.

In Tuesday’s update, Metal Tiger said nine holes drilled at its A4 done over the period intersected copper-containing Ngwako Pan Formation contacts and/or vein hosted copper. The A4 Dome is located 8km away from the MOD’s T3 project and is the first of several buried domes to be drilled as part of the T3 expansion project.

The expansion project forms part of a strategy to explore for additional resources within the transport distance of the planned T3 copper project process plant. The plan is for this to add significant value to the project for MOD and, in turn, Metal Tiger as MOD’s largest shareholder.

The second buried dome is called A1 and is located around 22km northeast of T3. In today’s update, Metal Tiger said one hole at the site has intersected a wide zone of disseminated copper.

Meanwhile, the firm said three holes drilled at its T23 dome intersected visible copper. A further hole is yet to complete. The T23 dome is part of the T20 exploration project, which lies 120km west of the T3 expansion project. It also contains the extensive T20 soil anomaly and T4 prospect and is interpreted to occur within the same structural corridor that hosts T3.

Finally, Metal Tiger laid out 2019 plans for its JV with MOD resources, which is called Tshukudu Exploration. The JV was established last year after Metal Tiger sold its 30pc share in T3 to MOD for MOD shares and options. As a result, Metal Tiger now holds around a 12.5pc position in MOD, giving it continuing exposure to T3, where a feasibility study is ongoing is due to complete by the end of the current quarter.

Through their new exploration JV, Metal Tiger and MOD plan to conduct follow-up drilling of ‘very encouraging’ shallow mineralisation along the T4-T23 dome area in Q1 2019. They also plan to undertake initial testing of extensive copper and zinc soil anomalies within the adjacent T20 exploration project over the period. In the second half of the year, the JV plans to conduct follow-up drilling on the A4 dome.

Michael McNeilly, chief executive officer of Metal Tiger, said: ‘The period saw significant advancements the exploration work, undertaken by both MOD and the JV, continuing to deliver encouraging drilling results that demonstrate the potential of area. At the corporate level, Metal Tiger completed an important and value adding transaction resulting in Metal Tiger becoming MOD’s largest shareholder whilst positioning the Company to continue to benefit from, not only T3’s development, but the underexplored, district scale potential of the Kalahari Copper Belt through the JV.

‘The tireless work by our JV partners and our on the ground team has continued to add value to the JV. 2019 will no doubt prove to be an exciting year with T3 moving towards a decision to mine and the extensive JV land holdings continuing to indicate new copper discoveries. We look forward to providing further updates to shareholders in due course.’

Metal Tiger received a 27pc boost earlier this month following the news that MOD had received an unsolicited takeover bid from ASX-listed Sandfire Resources. Sandfire offered to acquire 100pc of MOD’s shares at $0.38 each, valuing the firm at $113m. However, MOD said it believed the indicative proposal undervalued its assets. Despite this, it said it would be ‘willing to engage’ with Sandfire if it presents a more compelling price.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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