ASX-listed junior Sipa Resources’ is currently underway with an extensive and multi-pronged nickel exploration programme at its Kitgum Pader base metal project in Uganda, which contains one of the most significant recent nickel sulphide discoveries globally
The programme is being managed by Sipa on behalf of its joint venture partner Rio Tinto, which is currently earning a 51% interest in the project.
In Northern Uganda, the 100%-owned Kitgum-Pader base metals project contains two new mineral discoveries, Akelikongo nickel-copper sulphide and Pamwa lead-zinc-silver, both made by Sipa during 2014 and 2015.
The intrusive-hosted nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation at Akelikongo is one of the most significant recent nickel sulphide discoveries globally, exhibiting strong similarities to major intrusive-hosted nickel ore bodies such as Nova, Raglan and Voisey’s Bay.
At Akelikongo, Sipa has delineated intrusive-hosted chonolith style nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation which is outcropping and plunges shallowly to the north-west for a distance of at least 500 m and open to the north-west.
In December 2016, strong zones of up to 7 m of semi-massive sulphide interpreted to dip shallowly to the northwest were intersected with strong off-hole conductors associated with them.
These intercepts occur beneath large thicknesses up 113 m of disseminated nickel sulphide >0.25% Ni and copper sulphide >0.1% Cu, with intercepts of 84.5 m @ 0.37% Ni and 0.16% Cu and 43.7 m @ 0.53% Ni and 0.18% Cu, including 7 m @ 1.04% Ni, 0.35% Cu 0.05% Co.
The current programme includes the following activities:
- Regional gravity surveying: A programme of detailed ground gravity surveying has been underway since mid-August. The surveys are designed to provide three-dimensional data to determine the nature, shape and plunge of intrusions believed to be related to geochemically anomalous soils. The results will assist in defining diamond drill targets to test for further intrusions that are fertile for nickel sulphides (in addition to the Akelikongo and Akelikongo West intrusions) within the overall land-holding.
- Soil sampling: Assessment of Sipa’s extensive >70,000 pXRF soils database indicates that a number of anomalies remain open. In light of this information, additional tenements have been acquired with soil sampling to commence over these areas.
- Diamond drilling: An initial programme comprising 2 500 m of diamond drilling has commenced covering selected regional targets and potential extensions of the Akelikongo discovery. Drilling is scheduled to continue until the end of 2018. Drilling of regional targets will be undertaken to obtain further information on the ultramafic intrusives, specifically:
- To target the best geometry based on geochemistry and geophysics (magnetics and gravity) to intersect potential nickel sulphides;
- To drill as much of the ultramafic sequence as possible in order to complete geochemical studies aimed at understanding the fertility of each system; and – To better understand the evolution and chemistry of the systems and how they differ.
Drilling at Akelikongo is planned to investigate both the geometry of the down-plunge position of the mineralisation and the eastern margin of the intrusive complex.
The southwestern footwall has been the focus of drilling to date with only four holes drilled away from this zone, all of which have been angled to the south-west. A number of untested offhole DHEM (down-hole electromagnetic) plates remain to be tested as well as potential target areas arising from new information gained from the AMT (audio magneto telluric) lines collected in early 2018.
The objective of the first two holes will be to target features that have geophysical responses both in the AMT, DHEM and gravity to begin to understand the geometry of the mineralisation and investigate continuation of the sulphides. Drilling will continue into 2019 with work planned to coincide with the most amenable dry season field conditions.