On Wednesday, Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW) - formerly known as African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) – announced plans to drill the Haneti Nickel Project. A fully funded initial drill programme will focus on two key targets - Mihanza Hill and Mwaka Hill - to ascertain the existence of disseminated or massive sulphide mineralisation.

The decision to drill follows an in-depth review and analysis of historical work at the project which indicates Haneti may host a chonolith type nickel sulphide deposit. In the event of success, a larger drilling programme will likely follow on the 5,000 sq. km site.

Power Metal currently holds a 25pc interest in the Haneti project via a joint venture agreement with Katoro Gold (LSE:KAT). The firm can elect to increase its interest to 35pc on payment of £25k. Power also gains additional exposure to the project via a 5.95pc shareholding in Katoro.

Paul Johnson, Executive Director of Power Metal Resources plc commented: "The decision to drill the Haneti Nickel project, targeting nickel, copper and PGM mineralisation is an acutely significant event for both JV partners.

The two initial targets are substantial and have been selected following an extensive exploration programme involving a combination of airborne and ground exploration techniques to identify, consolidate and pinpoint the drill programme.

The upcoming drill programme is an efficient start to our JV work at Haneti and fits with the Company's strategic objective to discover large scale mineral deposits."

Former project owner, Kibo Energy (LSE:KIBO) spent $1.5m on exploration across the Haneti-Itiso Ultramafic Complex (HIUC) at Haneti prior to 2012. The work included rock and soil sampling, geological mapping, trenching, geophysical surveys and petrographic analyses, with grades of up to 13.59pc nickel identified in rock samples.

A  high resolution airborne geophysical survey followed in 2012/13 outlined mafic-ultramafic zones with strike lengths of 10-20km, 30km and 80km, across the northwest, southwest and central zones of the HIUC. Haneti lies within the HIUC, and a subsequent independent geochemical interpretation highlighted the Mihanza Hill area as a prime drill target.

Last month, Katoro Gold revealed results from a comprehensive soil sampling programme had further increased its confidence in the project. 1,500 samples were analysed at an independent laboratory, confirming high priority targets and extending the strike length of a number of targets.

Speaking to MiningMaven, Paul Johnson added: ‘Haneti is the fourth POW project that is now operationally active and exploring for a major metal discovery. It also is unique with strike lengths in the HIUC of up to 80km and in respect of Mihanzi Hill, an identified target that extends to 800m below surface, so is extremely large.’ 

Author: Stuart Langelaan

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