Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW) is pushing ahead with a massive nickel sulphide project in Botswana and now says it has identified four key targets for drilling.

The AIM-listed explorer has an interest in a major project at Molopo Farms Complex (MFC), three licenses covering 2,725km2 prospective for Nickel-Copper-PGM which straddles the country’s southern border with South Africa. 

Geoscientists carried out an electromagnetic study of the area by helicopter and a followup by ground survey identified a “larger than expected number” of high-profile targets, Power Metal said. 

Now the exploration company has divided potential sites into four target groups where it will drill eight large holes to test for the valuable element. 

The target groups comprise Chipo in the north, Galaletsang to the south, Tshenolo to the west and Tsepho in the central region. Initial drilling will focus on the Chipo target group where surveys show the highest possibility of results consistent with other massive sulphide discoveries in the region.

Two project licences originally granted in 2016 have been successfully renewed, Power Metal CEO Paul Johnson said, with authorisation received from the Botswanan Department of Mines. 

"The scale of potential prospectivity at the MFC project was demonstrated by the large number of Nickel-PGM targets identified during ground geophysics and this has now led to a clustering of targets into four groups. The MFC project is increasingly attractive and we look forward to the pursuit of ground exploration, notably high-profile target drilling.” 

Last year, Power Metal took an 18.26% shareholding in Kalahari Key, a local exploration company that has 100% ownership of the Botswana project. In December 2019, it elected to earn-in a 40% interest in the project by spending $500,000 on exploration and target drilling, with CEO Paul Johnson joining the Kalahari Key board. 

After completing the earn-in POW will have a 50.96% economic interest in MFC. 

Power Metal is looking for metal deposits buried in the igneous rock. Magmatic sulphide deposits, like those in Botswana, produce between 40% and 95% of the world’s total resources of nickel and platinum group elements.  These metals are key components in electric vehicle battery manufacturing, a sector that before coronavirus restrictions were imposed was soaring globally. 

Botswana has been relatively little affected by the pandemic thus far but authorities are not taking any chances. The country’s first case was recorded on 31 March, and days later President Mokgweetsi Massi declared a 28-day state of emergency involving lockdown, where only those providing essential services would be allowed to leave their homes. To date the country has recorded 20 cases and one death from Covid-19. The lockdown is expected to end on 28 April 2020. 

In the meantime the Kalahari Key team are using the lockdown period to review all available geological and geophysical data to refine their drilling plans, Power Metal said, and to liaise with third parties who have expressed an interest in the nickel project.

Author: Mark Sheridan

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