The 90% Argonaut held Lumwana West Project is situated between two world-class copper operations, Barrick Gold Corp’s Lumwana mine and First Quantum Mineral’s Sentinel mine.
Argonaut’s drilling program is targeting copper and cobalt mineralisation where previous intersections of 176 metres at 0.55% copper and 31 metres at 1.57% copper.
The Nyungu deposit drilling program will have a dual purpose with exploration drilling that aims to uncover significant new zones of copper and cobalt mineralisation, and infill drilling for resource estimation purposes.
Argonaut has defined two exploration drilling targets that have the potential to materially increase the resource base at Nyungu.
Argonaut’s first drill hole, NYDD052, is at the Nyungu Central deposit between widely spaced existing drill holes.
The company’s drilling program is budgeted to cost A$2 million for a total of 2,800 metres of varying diameter drill core.
Drilling will be jointly managed by African Mining Consultants (AMC), Thomas Rogers and Argonaut Resources’ staff based in Adelaide, Australia.
Potential for additional high-grade zones
At the outset, Argonaut’s exploration drilling program will involve a component of diamond drilling targeting the extension to Nyungu Central and Nyungu South.
Nyungu Central contains high-grade intersections such as 31 metres at 1.57% copper from 173 metres including 6 metres at 5.51% copper.
There is a statistical likelihood that infill drilling will intercept additional high-grade zones which can boost the average grade of the deposit.
Interpreted near-surface oxide zones
Previous drilling by Argonaut at Nyungu targeted fresh copper sulphide mineralisation at depth via angled drilling while no early drill holes targeted near-surface oxide mineralisation.
This has left a gap in the company’s understanding of the oxide zone and affected its ability to progress metallurgical test-work on a potentially significant parcel of copper ore.
Therefore, the 2021 drilling program aims to address these matters by specially targeting drilling in interpreted near-surface oxide zones.
Results from this program and metallurgical leach test-work that will follow will impact the economics of production in the first 5 to 10 years.
Argonaut is completing a suite of orientation leach tests on small samples of oxide and transitional ores; future tests will include large-scale leach tests and solvent extraction or electrowinning tests.
- Ephrems Joseph