By Justin Reynolds
Kavango Resources : Unlocking Botswana’s exploration potential
“…and it should be noted that the multi-billion Norilsk copper-nickel-PGM mines derive from a relatively narrow set of ores. With a share price currently hovering around 1.60p it’s worth following the Kavango story…”
The windswept tundra of Siberia and the lush savanna of Botswana may seem worlds apart, but Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) is hoping they prove to be equally rich seams for nickel, copper and rare earth metals. A cluster of mines ringing the city of Norilsk, about 2,800km northeast of Moscow, supply 90% of Russia’s nickel reserves, 55% of its copper and virtually all of its platinum-group elements (PGE). Kavango’s primary focus is a geological formation in south-western Botswana which the company says has distinct similarities with those in the Russian arctic.
The Kalahari Suture Zone
The UK-based company holds 12 prospecting licences, spanning more than 8,000km2, covering a significant portion of the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ), a 450km long structural feature extending deep into the Earth’s crust with zones tapping magmatic sulphide deposits that analysis suggests bear comparison with those in Siberia.
Kavango has spent the past couple of years conducting and consolidating research into the KSZ, which has not previously been explored using contemporary techniques. Last year more than 4,000 line-kms of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys were completed, analysing the area to depths of 400m below the overlying sedimentary cover. Subsequent drilling over priority targets identified by the surveys concluded with indications of sulphide mineralisation and elevated nickel values.
This April Kavango published an independent technical review of KSV’s exploration potential by the University of Leicester. The review confirmed the presence of 10 geological features common to major magmatic sulphide Copper-Nickel-PGM deposits at regions including Norilsk, Voisey’s Bay, Raglan and the Thomson Nickel Belt (Canada), and Jinchuan (China). The report recommended a strategy for future exploration encompassing downhole geophysics, electro-magnetic (EM) surveys, gravity surveys, 3D computer modelling, and further soil sampling. The university will continue to fine-tune its analysis in light of new data provided by the company.
In June Kavango appointed advanced geological and geophysical 3D specialists to use the data accumulated so far to develop models mapping the size, location and orientation of conduits across the KSZ in relation to their sedimentary host rocks. The modelling work will inform future high powered, low frequency ground EM surveys that in turn will identify locations for a future KSV drilling campaign.
The Kavango Copper Project
Although exploration of the KSV has been prominent in the company’s recent news flow, Kavango has interests in a couple of other prospects.
The company’s licence areas in south-west Botswana go beyond the KSV, encompassing geologies with ring structures commonly associated with the presence of volcanic carbonatites, which are the primary source of rare earths in high demand in the manufacturing of electric motors and batteries for EVs and other high-tech applications.
And in northwest Botswana the company is pursuing the Kavango Copper Project, exploring for mineralisation within a stretch of the DRC-Zambia copperbelt, running some 1,000km from northern Botswana to central Namibia. The belt is a key emerging exploration province for major sedimentary copper-silver deposits, recent discoveries of more than 7m/t of copper leading to the development of two large new mines.
Kavango has interests in a number of prospecting licences covering sections of the belt, the most recent secured in June. The company is currently building out its analysis through desktop study of historic data and onsite soil sampling, with a view to commissioning an airborne EM surveying programme.
The pandemic has hampered Kavango’s ability to conduct exploration work in the field, but Botswana has a relatively good COVID-19 record and is easing partial travel and work restrictions. The country is an established mining jurisdiction: since achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960’s it has been stable, with democratically elected governments and consistent economic growth, driven not least by its famous diamond mining industry.
For the latest company corporate presentation please click here
Kavango has been raising funds for its next round of exploration. Earlier this year £358,500 was raised through a placing. And the company sold 51pc of its interest in the Ditau Project – south western Botswana licences adjacent to the KSV – for a further £150,000.
Time will tell whether Kavango’s bold claims for its KSV project have substance. But the analysis the company has undertaken so far suggests something could be there, and it should be noted that the multi-billion Norilsk copper-nickel-PGM mines derive from a relatively narrow set of ores. With a share price currently hovering around 1.60p it’s worth following the Kavango story.
Here, Mike Moles tells Proactive London’s Andrew Scott they’ve appointed specialist geological modelling firm, Mira Geoscience, to help select drill targets at the Kalahari Suture Zone ( KSZ) nickel/copper prospect.
Moles says they’ve supplied Mira with a comprehensive set of historical data for the northern section of the KSZ alongside its own exploration findings…