Carbonatite orientation programme at Ditau
16 September 2019
KAVANGO RESOURCES PLC
("Kavango" or "the Company")
Carbonatite orientation programme at Ditau
Kavango Resources plc (LSE: KAV), the exploration group listed on the Standard List segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange and targeting the discovery of world-class mineral deposits in Botswana, is pleased to announce an update on the Company's Ditau Project.
o Further analysis of assay and geochemical results from February's core drilling, suggests the presence of "fenitization", a type of alteration associated with carbonatites
o 10 magnetic "ring structures", which are prospective for carbonatites, have now been identified within the Ditau licences.
o Carbonatites often contain numerous economic minerals and are the primary source of Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
o Kavango recently learned of 3 carbonatites that were discovered in the 1970s by Falconbridge less than 25km from the Ditau drill sites.
o Kavango is initiating an orientation programme over the Falconbridge carbonatites (within the Company's existing budget).
o Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) have been signed with several major and mid-tier mining firms concerning a possible Ditau Joint Venture
Ditau comprises two prospecting licences (PLs), which cover an area of 1,386km2. Kavango originally identified a magnetic anomaly at the first of these two licenses, which the directors believed presented an attractive exploration target.
In February 2019 the Company drilled two holes into the "original" Ditau magnetic anomaly (the "Ditau Camp Prospect"). Assay and whole rock geochemistry results from these two holes, released in early August, demonstrated the presence of an extensive zone of highly altered Karoo sediments sitting above a mafic intrusive body. The alteration extended to over 300m in depth in both holes, which were 1.8km apart.
The geochemistry obtained from the drill core suggested that the alteration was due to "fenitization", a type of extensive alteration associated with alkali magmatism and carbonatites. Carbonatites are the major global source of Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
The Ditau Targets
Analysis of existing airborne magnetic data identified 10 "ring structures" aligned along a SW-NE axis in the Ditau area. Ring structures are typical of alkali magmatism, which are often accompanied by the intrusion of carbonatite in the form of plugs or dykes.
Recognition of this hitherto unknown complex of alkali ring structures (including at least one possible kimberlite) prompted Kavango to apply for the second PL at Ditau, which was granted in June of this year.
Carbonatites are the principal primary source of REEs including the much sought after elements Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr), which are used in the manufacture of the new generation of electric vehicles (EVs), magnets and other high tech applications.
The board believes that Ditau's post-Karoo age is likely to be conformable with the Longonjo Nd/Pr carbonatite open pit deposit, being developed in Angola by Pensana Metals. The Company will seek to confirm this through further exploration.
The Falconbridge Carbonatites
Subsequent to the release of August's drill results from Ditau, Kavango learned that the Canadian miner Falconbridge drilled into 3 carbonatites in the early 1970s at a location less than 25km from Ditau and hosted by similar Karoo country rocks.
Falconbridge was looking for kimberlites in the area, which contains a cluster of over 20 kimberlites discovered at the same time. Kimberlites are the primary source of diamonds. Carbonatites have similar looking magnetic and gravity signatures.
The carbonatites that Falconbridge intersected were of post Karoo age and lie just below the Kalahari sand cover and would therefore have been amenable to open pit mining. Any carbonatites discovered at Ditau are likely to be of the same age and lie relatively close to surface.
The one carbonatite sampled by Falconbridge reported high grades of Niobium.
Kavango now plans to undertake an orientation exercise to assess the geophysical and geochemical characteristics of the Falconbridge carbonatites. This will assist in the exploration for and discovery of carbonatites within Kavango's licences.
Using funds already set aside for the further work on the Ditau licences, the Company will undertake surveys over some of all of the 10 ring structures to identify carbonatite targets. Targets can be tested by relatively shallow and cheap percussion drilling.
The objective is to demonstrate over the coming months the existence of carbonatite within Kavango's Ditau licences
Joint Venture Discussions
In order to offset the costs of a prolonged exploration programme, which may involve extensive resource drilling, Kavango has signed Non-Disclosure Agreements with several major and mid-tier companies concerning possible future joint ventures. The orientation programme (described above) is expected to support these discussions and the Company will provide further updates in due course.
Michael Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources, commented:
"There is mounting evidence that Ditau is at the centre of a previously unrecognised alkali magmatic complex. The current orientation exercise is designed to confirm the existence of carbonatite associated with the 10 ring structures identified to date. A number of mining companies have shown interest in this project and we look forward to working with an industry partner to realise fully its potential."
Further information in respect of the Company and its business interests is provided on the Company's website at www.kavangoresources.com and on Twitter at #KAV.
Note to Editors:
Economic Potential of Carbonatites
Until recently carbonatites were regarded as unusual and academically interesting geological bodies but significant interest was only generated once the demand for REEs was established (in the last few years). Hitherto many carbonatites were mined for their phosphate content (fertilizer), or for economic deposits of Niobium, Strontium, Uranium, Thorium, Magnetite, Barium and Vermiculite. One of the world's most productive carbonatites, Palabora, has been in production continuously since 1953 and is South Africa's principal source of copper. About one out of nine carbonatites world-wide have been mined commercially (Simandi & Paradis 2018).
Both the market and production of REE's is dominated by China who are also leading the research into the technological application of these metals. Western countries have recently become alarmed about the strategic advantage that China now exerts over REE technology such that new deposits of these elements are in high demand.
For further information please contact:
Kavango Resources plc +44 20 3651 5705
SI Capital Limited (Joint Broker) +44 1483 413500
Turner Pope Investments (Joint Broker) +44 20 3657 0050
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