Cobalt lithium
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AIM quoted African Battery Metals is making rapid exploration advancement at its recently acquired cobalt-copper interests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The company’s exploration programme on Kisinka commenced on 28 January 2018. The licence is situated 30 km east of Lubumbashi, the regional capital, close to seven existing large cobalt-copper mines and numerous small scale operations.

Kisinka is on the Roan, the geological sequence which hosts most of the DRC’s cobalt and copper that is currently being mined by small scale mining operations selling cobalt and copper concentrate to local smelters.

Prior to African Battery Metals’ acquisition of Kisinka, a number of grab samples were collected from small-scale miners’ pits on the licence by an independent geologist, who reported grades of up to 2.5% cobalt from a Niton XRF field analyser (the standard equipment used in the field for such analysis).

The company has now commenced a grab sample programme to follow up on these early indications of cobalt mineralisation.

Since the commencement of exploration work, a number of clearings have been observed on Kisinka, with stunted vegetation. These clearings in the normally denser vegetation are widely used in mineral exploration as they are a sign of soil contamination caused by base metal mineralisation.

An auger programme on Kisinka has also commenced. Augering is a fast, efficient and highly cost effective means of extracting material from up to 20 m below surface and therefore closer to the primary rock, which hosts the mineralisation.

Depending on the ground conditions, augering is an attractive exploration activity as up to 100 m per day can be drilled. The targets to be explored are:

  • The Grand Conglomerate which occurs twice as a duplication along the entire strike length of Kisinka. The Grand Conglomerate hosts the world-class Kamoa discovery made by Ivanhoe elsewhere on the DRC Copper Belt;
  • A series of structural dislocations and other lineaments identified by the remote sensing programme that are often associated with enhanced mineralisation; and
  • Identified stunted vegetation clearings.

Additional licence opportunities in the DRC

African Battery Metals has been approached by two groups with potentially attractive cobalt-copper licences available on similar financial terms to those of Kisinka and Sakania. Both licences have evidence of copper-cobalt mineralisation and both have the advantage of a period of a few months to assess the projects before any commitments are made and any payments are required.

The company is conducting due diligence work on both at the moment.

“We are excited to be on the ground and exploring at Kisinka, starting with a cost effective systematic exploration programme which I am confident will deliver encouraging results.

“Kisinka provides us with our first exposure to cobalt-copper projects in the centre of the world-class Katangan Copperbelt, which hosts approximately 50% of the world’s known cobalt resources,” says Roger Murphy, CEO of African Battery Metals.