Power Metal Resources (LON: POW) and Kavango Resources (LON: KAV) revealed on Friday that they have identified seven drill-ready targets for their Ditau project in Botswana.

The pair are seeking Rare Earth Elements (“REEs”) at Ditau under a 50:50 joint venture (“JV”), and identified the targets after geophysical and geochemical surveys spanning twelve prospective areas were completed.

Each of the seven targets has a “possible carbonatite intrusive body” in range of reverse circulation (“RC”) drilling are within 300m depth.

Three targets—I1, I4, and I10—are now classified as high priority.

I1 is an “intense magnetic dipole” spanning 17km by 8km. The depth to source is shallow, less than 100m, with the target likely sitting just beneath the Kalahari sands. I1 is at the intersection of two major regional fault lines.

Testing so far has identified anomalous niobium values at I1, a REE used for a number of superconducting materials as well as industrial alloys.

Target I4, meanwhile, spans 7.5km by 5km and, like I1, has a shallow depth to source – fewer than 100m.

I10 spans 2.5km by 2.8km and geophysics found “high AMT resistivity, coincidental with a gravity high”. This follows surveying with Audio-frequency Magneto-tellurics (“AMT”) and gravity surveying to assess density.

There are seventeen rare earth elements, all of which are metals, grouped together in the periodic table and usually found together in deposits. The group includes yttrium as well as the fifteen lanthanide elements. Scandium, which is found in the majority of REEs deposits, is sometimes considered a REE as well.

REEs are used in a large number of devices, including magnets, rechargeable batteries, computers, and mobile phones. Demand for these elements has skyrocketed as these kinds of devices become ubiquitous.

While REEs are found worldwide, China is the dominant player, with Chinese mines producing over 55% of the world’s global mining output for REEs in 2020.

Paul Johnson, Power Metal’s chief executive, said it is “extremely positive to be able to confirm high priority drill targets at Ditau in Botswana”, especially as its strategic objective is to discover REEs “at a time when the world is seeking secure and safe supply sources”.

Should the upcoming Ditau drill programme find the hoped-for REEs deposits, then he believes “Ditau will become an extremely valuable project”.

Ben Turney, Kavango’s new chief executive, added that the seven drill targets are “particularly encouraging”.

“Carbonatite hosted deposits of Rare Earth Elements hold significant strategic and commercial value. Kavango’s targets are relatively shallow, which should make it straightforward to determine this project's potential,” Turney noted.

The two companies have another Botswana JV, the South Ghanzi project in the Kalahari Copper Belt.

In June, the two reported excellent results from soil sampling at the Morula target at South Ghanzi. As soon as the JV partners obtain the necessary Environmental Management Plan for South Ghanzi, drilling will start at Morula. 

Separately, Kavango is set to start drilling at its Kalahari Suture Zone project in Botswana – announcing in June that it would start drilling there by the end of that month.

“We look forward to revisiting Ditau later this year, once we've completed our other high-impact drill campaigns,” Turney said.

Author: Anna Farley

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