ASX-listed Sandfire Resources has reported very high-grade vein-hosted copper-silver intersections in three recent diamond holes drilled at its A4 mineral resource in Botswana.
Botswana – The outstanding copper and silver grades within these intersections exceed any other results announced by Sandfire or previous explorer MOD Resources in the Kalahari Copper Belt to date.
Following completion of the Phase 1 resource drilling programme, which comprised 99 diamond drill holes, Sandfire’s in-country subsidiary Tshukudu Exploration continued with a Phase 2 programme of in-fill and extensional drilling designed to upgrade the maiden inferred mineral resource estimate to a higher confidence indicated mineral resource and also to test for extensions to the resource.
Drilling is continuing at the A4 deposit with six diamond core rigs conducting in-fill drilling within the maiden mineral resource and testing for extensions along strike and down-dip from the known mineralisation. Copper-silver mineralisation at A4 is developed along shear zones and is also associated with extensional veins interpreted to be related to thrust movement along the shear zones.
Enormous growth potential earmarked
Given its location 8 km from the planned processing plant and infrastructure at the T3 project, the A4 deposit has the potential to become an important source of satellite ore for the Motheo Production Hub, supporting the planned expansion from the base case of 3.2Mtpa to 5.2Mtpa contemplated in the definitive feasibility study.
Once resource drilling at the A4 Dome is completed, drilling is planned to focus on the potential for similar vein and shear-hosted mineralisation within the surrounding 1 000 km2 T3 expansion project area. High priority drilling targets include the A1 Dome, located 20 km east of A4, and the T1, T2E, A27 and A13 targets, all within a ~30 km radius of the planned T3 mine.
The T3 expansion project is the first area of the Kalahari Copper Belt to be systematically explored within Sandfire’s 26 645km2 African licence holdings, which extend from Botswana into Namibia.
Sandfire MS and CEO, Karl Simich said the rapid delineation of a significant satellite resource at A4, located just 8 km from the proposed processing infrastructure at the T3-Motheo mine, provided an early insight into the enormous growth potential within this under-explored copper province.
“Excitingly, we have recently encountered significant high-grade mineralisation near the eastern margin of the A4 deposit which is not yet included in the maiden mineral resource, including newly-discovered strong bornite and chalcocite vein-hosted copper mineralisation located in the resource area. This bodes well for the potential to increase the grade of the mineral resource,” he concluded.