Kavango's hunt for elephant-scale deposits intensifies as modelling confirms Norilsk potential in Botswana (KAV)

Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) was trading at 2020 highs on Tuesday after confirming "spectacular" geological similarities between its vast land package in Botswana and the giant Norilsk mining centre in Russia.

Over the past few months, Kavango has been building a 3D model for the 450km-long Kalahari Suture Zone ("KSZ") magnetic anomaly, where it is targeting world-class mineral deposits. The area is entirely covered by Cretaceous and post-Cretaceous Kalahari sediments and has never been explored using modern techniques.

Kavango secured thousands of data points from its own extensive aerial surveying and 2019 drill campaign, as well as from third-party historical exploration drilling and water boreholes, to build a comprehensive picture of the region’s prospectivity. On Tuesday, the company rocketed to 2.7p a share after confirming its 3D model had established critical similarities between the KSZ's northern "Hukuntsi" section and Norilsk.

Based in Siberia, Norilsk is one of the world's biggest mining centres, accounting for 90% of Russia's nickel reserves, 55% of its copper, and virtually all of its platinum group metals ("PGMs").

Specifically, Kavango's model depicts ten district-scale horizontal "sills" at Hukunsti covering over 300km2. Sills are relatively thin, planar, bodies of coarse-grained rock known as "solidified gabbroic magma" that intruded into layers of sedimentary rock while still molten during volcanic activity about 150 million years ago.

According to Kavango, these sills display dozens of "gull wing" and "keel" formations that are characteristic of those containing metal-rich massive sulphides at Norilsk. Two examples can be seen in the images below.

Cross section A-B from Hukunsti, KSZ

Cross section C-D from Hukunsti, KSZ

The similarities between these formations and the Norilsk schematic below are extremely striking.

As can be seen in the Norilsk schematic below, the copper, nickel, and PGM content in the upper "gull wings" is low. Much of this metal combines with free sulphur and gravitates down as a heavy sulphide liquid into the lower "keel" sector of the sill – which can then act as a trap zone or “bowl” for massive sulphide accumulations.

Kavango said the results of its 3D modelling have strengthened its belief in the KSZ's potential to host "very significant" copper, nickel, and PGM mineralization across multiple magmatic sulphide deposits.

For a more detailed look into the KSZ's Norilsk-style geological potential, click here to view a short presentation by Kavango's chief geologist Mike Moles.

Tuesday's news comes just weeks after an updated petrology report for the KSZ prepared by Dr Martin Prendergast confirmed exceptionally high sulphur readings in core samples taken by Kavango last year.

This was an important step forward as the presence of such high readings of sulphur confirms that the copper, nickel, and PGM elements in the magma bound together to form heavy sulphides.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, a mineral systems review over the formation demonstrated the presence of 12 key geological features associated with other world-class magmatic sulphide copper, nickel, and PGM deposits.

Kavango's chief executive Michael Foster added:

"The imagery coming out of the computer-generated geological model is quite spectacular and potentially transformational for the company. We are now able to view the gabbroic intrusions in 3D. We can see their shape, size thickness and their depth from surface. We can clearly identify and locate the thicker parts of the sills for follow up EM surveying.

This is a major step forward in our exploration, which should culminate in an extensive drilling programme in the KSZ."

With most of the sills lying within 400m of the surface at Hukunsti, Kavango is now primed for further field exploration.

The company's geologists will select six of the most prospective "keels" for large loop, low-frequency electromagnetic surveying. This will test for massive sulphide concentrations more definitively, as the structures are known to be highly conductive.

"[We] expect this work to result in the identification of high-priority targets for future drilling," the firm added.

Overall, this has been a highly encouraging summer for Kavango as it has advanced its exploration theory in the KSZ. The potential targets are huge, and it is now a question of finding them.

This really is elephant hunting of the highest order.

With a £5 million market cap, the potential upside here is immense.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

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

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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 jumps on fresh evidence of major Norilsk-style deposits in Botswana

Shares in AIM-listed Kavango Resources (LSE: KAV) bounced to new yearly highs on the release of a new report confirming Norilsk-style deposits in the firm’s Botswana territory.

Kavango shares surged 15% in early Thursday trading.

Core samples taken from a 2019 drill programme in the highly-prospective Kalahari Suture Zone show the rock and mineral composition closely matches that of Norlisk in northern Russia. 

These results are “an important step forward for the company”, Kavango CEO Michael Foster said. 

The company is now selecting targets for ground-based low frequency electromagnetic survey, to be carried out as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. 

Norilsk deposits host some of the world’s richest mineralised zones of copper-nickel-platinum group metals. The polar mine accounts for 50% of the entire global production of palladium, 20% of its nickel and 20% of the world’s platinum. Reports suggest the Siberian production has enough resources to continue working for another 50 years. 

Testing success

Despite the difficulties of the lockdown in Botswana, the company couriered its samples to Johannesburg in South Africa for initial analysis, then forwarded them on to independent consultant Dr Martin Prendergast in Scotland for interpretation. 

Dr Predergast tested the Kavango samples and confirmed two additional shared characteristics. They include cumulate rocks and crucially, sulphide liquid fractionation. 

An April 2020 report by Leicester University’s Dr David Howell confirmed the presence of 10 geological features found in Kavango’s Kalahari Suture Zone. These are associated with economically viable magmatic sulphide deposits. 

This is further evidence of huge upside for the company’s 2020 drilling programme. 

Now geologists know that the massive zone also features sulphide liquid fractionation and cumulate rocks, it adds more power to the Norilsk comparison. 

Dr Prendergast’s report is now on its way to Dr Howell for further interpretation and review. 

 

Author: Mark Sheridan

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

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

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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 – On the road to another Norilsk in Botswana? (KAV)

The Norilsk nickel mine sits high in the Russian Arctic plains, 1,700 miles northeast of Moscow in the permafrost of the Taimyr Peninsular.

Here, in the Arctic Circle’s second-largest city, virtually all of Russia’s copper and Platinum Group Metals (“PGMs”) are produced. Not only that, but this polar mine accounts for 50% of the world’s palladium, some 20% of its nickel, 20% of all platinum, over 10% of the world’s cobalt, and 3% of all copper mined globally.

This staggering production rate won’t slow down any time soon. Recent reserve estimates suggest Norilsk’s current output rates can be maintained for upwards of another 50 years. This is thanks to 500 million tonnes of probable PGM ore reserves, including 6 million tonnes of nickel, 9 million tonnes of copper, 62 million ounces of palladium, and 16 million ounces of platinum. 

For an idea of just how valuable this mine is, consider that Norilsk’s largest shareholder is one of the richest men in Russia.

Oligarch Vladimir Potanin swooped in for a 34.5% stake in MMC Norilsk Nickel Ltd (Nornickel) when it was privatised by the Russian government in 1995. His net worth is now reported to be close to $24 billion.

That’s a lot of money, but it’s not just Potanin basking in Norilsk’s riches. According to the Financial Times, Norilsk has generated the highest shareholder return of any large diversified miner over the last five years. As of 2020, the company has a market value of over $40 billion - nearly twice that of Anglo American (LSE:AAL), and $10 billion more than Glencore (LSE:GLEN).

How exciting, then, that Kavango Resources plc (LSE:KAV) is exploring a project that could rival the best of what Norilsk has to offer.

Kavango chief executive Michael Foster has repeatedly described the company’s targets here as “highly attractive”. However, those in the know would say that this is quite the understatement.

Kavango holds 12 prospecting licences across the KSZ and the adjacent Ditau Project in a huge, near-7,000km2 area.  Prof. David Holwell of the University of Leicester, a world authority on magmatic sulphide deposits, describes the KSZ as “a prime setting for a magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposit.”

Kavango is hard at work targeting nickel-copper-platinum-group-element deposits across the 450km length of the KSZ.

Fig. 1. Kavango’s 3 areas of exploration

Foster is keen to draw the Norilsk comparison for one precise reason: it’s backed by geoscience.

The same black, granular intrusive rock that hosts Siberia’s vast metal deposits – known as gabbro - is found under the Botswana sands, exactly where Kavango is drilling.

“We believe the results from our 2019 drilling in the KSZ have brought us closer to confirming a Norilsk-style ‘plumbing system’ through which significant quantities of metal sulphides were transported,” Foster explains.

Copper-Nickel-PGM deposits can accumulate in vast underground ‘traps’ — as molten metal-sulphides filter down through the cooling silicate magma. As at Norilsk, these accumulations can form huge ore bodies over a prolonged period of magma flow, which appears to be the case on the KSZ.

One of the most important results from the drilling and rock sampling by Kavango to date has been the confirmation that most of the gabbroic magma intruded into sulphur-rich coal shales.

Why is this key?

It tells Kavango’s geologists that the sulphur content of the magma would have increased due to the incorporation of sulphur rich coal shales into the melt. Therefore, more of the valuable metals (Nickel & Copper) would have combined with the sulphur to form sulphide accumulations.

Magmatic sulphide specialist Dr Martin Prendergast examined the geochemistry of the gabbro samples and concluded that the silicates seem to have “lost” metals during the crystallisation of the magma whilst the ratios of Cu/Zn and Cu/Pd strongly suggest that “sulphide saturation” would have occurred leading to the formation of metal sulphides. The location of these sulphide deposits are relatively simple to confirm in geophysical surveys because they conduct electricity so easily.

In Kavango’s recent Mineral Systems Review by Prof. Holwell it is suggested that large volumes of metal sulphides including copper, nickel and platinum could be found in trap zones associated with gabbro dykes (vertical) and sills (horizontal).

If this is correct and the accumulations are close enough to surface to mine economically, it will then be a case of identifying the location of these deposits with ground based geophysical surveys and obtaining samples of the mineralisation.

With so much ground to cover this is obviously a big job for Kavango, but the potential rewards are huge.

If the company is successful and identifies commercial metal deposits then this will be transformational for the company’s stock price. This will be the main focus of Kavango’s exploration efforts well into 2021.