Kavango Resources (LON: KAV) and Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW) started the week with a new joint venture announcement, strengthening ties yet again in the sensational Kalahari Copper Belt.

Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt (“KCB”) is among the world’s leading frontiers in terms of copper exploration, a site of frequent discoveries and activity. This latest joint venture (“JV”) involves two signed agreements to acquire eight KCB prospecting licences.

The JV is part of a Kanye Resources subsidiary, established in Botswana and known as Kanye Resources (Pty) Ltd (“Kanye Botswana”). Kavango and Power Metal each have a 50% interest in UK-based Kanye, with a highly anticipated London listing planned later this year.

Kanye Botswana has signed two agreements for 100% of all eight licences.

One of these agreements is with Shongwe Resources and covers four licences, totalling 480 square kilometres in the Botswana KCB’s central zone. Kavango and Power Metal each cover half of the $200,000 acquisition cost.

The other agreement is with VinMarsh Interprises, with VinMarsh’s directors to transfer the other four licences, totalling 2,481 square kilometres on the western area of the Botswana KCB near the Namibia border. The $230,000 cost for these will also be split equally between the JV partners.

On top of this, formal documents have been submitted to transfer four licences currently held by Kavango Minerals to Kanye Botswana. These are the two licences for the South Ghanzi copper/silver project and the two Ditau rare earth element project licences.

Once all KCB prospecting licences are transferred, Kanye Botswana will control an impressive 4,255 square kilometres of prospecting exploration ground in the KCB. These will seek to discover commercial copper/silver deposits in the highly exciting region.

The acquisitions are all subject to due diligence and approvals in Botswana.

Power Metal chief executive Paul Johnson highlighted the fact that these new licences “would significantly increase the footprint of Kanye Botswana in the Kalahari Copper Belt” and complement existing licences in the KCB.

Johnson added that Power Metal believes the production licences “will add material value to the investment proposition, in advance of the planned listing in London”.

Kavango’s chief executive, Michael Foster, called the latest licences “a major step forward” in developing Kanye Resources as a “significant player” when it comes to copper exploration in the KCB. He also noted the excellent combination of Kavango’s “experienced ‘in country’ exploration capacity” with Power Metal’s “financial expertise and assets”.

Foster further expressed that Kavango is pleased with progress so far and looked forward to more updates in the weeks ahead.

Alongside its JV projects with Power Metal, Kavango is also earning a 90% interest in the LVR project. This project is also located in the KCB and will be held in a JV with LVR GeoExplorers.

Earlier in March, Kavango posted strong results from early airborne electromagnetic (“AEM”) surveys at both the LVR and South Ghanzi projects. Preliminary data plots from the AEM surveys conformed to the company’s developing KCB models.

Not only that, but these initial results also correlate with results from previous exploration efforts. In particular, AEM survey results so far closely correlate to Kavango's interpretation of geological structures in the region and confirm areas of interest found though prior soil sampling and ground magnetic surveys.

Data processing for the AEM surveys has already started and Kavango expects to post the results later this spring. Kavango will then use these results to help find targets for test drilling in the second half of the year.

The KCB is not Kavango’s only area of focus in Botswana. The firm is also exploring the Kalahari Suture Zone (“KSZ”), where data analysis has already confirmed potential for a massive, transformational nickel and copper discovery.

This analysis found that, millions of years ago, conditions at the KSZ proved just right to form concentrated pools of especially valuable and sought-after base metals like nickel and copper.

Copper is performing well, with prices up late last week as the vaccination roll-out kept ahead of expectations and US labour data proved positive. By midday Friday, there was a 2.1% increase in copper for May delivery as futures hit $2.04 a pound on New York’s Comex market.

Author: Anna Farley

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