Cobalt lithium

AIM-listed explorer and developer Power Metal Resources has received encouraging preliminary results from its follow-up pitting and mapping exploration programme at its 70%-owned Kisinka copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Following the discovery of a large 6.8 km copper anomaly running north-west to south-east during its 2019 field programme, the company launched a follow up pitting and mapping exploration programme across the identified target area in February 2020.

The programme was carried out over 40 days to 25 May 2020. In total, 21 pits totalling 174.3 m were dug on nine cross-sections across the target area for copper, with 16 reaching target depth and five stopped in the lateritic overburden cover at around 6 m due to water table contact. Three pits not attempted due to wet conditions in the field.

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From the pits, 209 channel samples of 2 kg each were taken, including three samples from the bottom end bedrock in certain pits, including 11 QA/QC duplicate samples.

Samples were prepared at the University of Lubumbashi’s preparation laboratory and two pulp samples of 50 g produced from each sample. One sample batch was subjected to x-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing at the Minex Consulting offices together with the duplicates. The other batch of samples will be sent to the ALS laboratory in Johannesburg for inductively coupled plasma (ICP) multi-element testing once the airline route is re-opened.

Results from the XRF testwork confirm the copper anomalous zones identified in the previous geochemical survey, with higher values and a wider zone detected, and open to the north west and south east. Copper anomalous zones are quite well correlated with major structures inferred from the detailed mapping, and in the south east with a brecciated zone situated between two strike-slip faults.

Cobalt anomalism was indicated in both zones, more strongly to the north west, and analysis of the weathering-related elements (manganese and iron), and the vertical distribution analysis showing copper and cobalt values increasing downwards, give evidence of a leaching process, which the spatial relationship of the anomalous zones suggests is towards the south east.

The next steps will be planned after receipt of the ICP laboratory test results, but Minex Consulting expects to recommend a ground magnetic survey and a ground electromagnetic survey, to detect both low magnetic and chargeable lithologies and indicate structures and faulting and areas of carbonate rocks, and further pitting.

The addition of results from the pitting and XRF testing to the data from previous programmes has resulted in an enlargement of the mapped copper anomalous zone

“The confirmation and, in fact, enlargement of the copper anomalous areas detected in previous exploration enables us now to go forward with confidence,” says Power Metal Resources CEO Paul Johnson.

The laterization and leaching that we encountered support the theory that there may be supergene enriched mineralisation at a lower level, so we particularly want to investigate this. The presence of cobalt partly correlated with the copper is another positive indication.

“After confirmation from the ICP analysis, which we may extend to include samples from the earlier termite mound sampling, we will release the data on cobalt and copper levels in the anomalies.

“We were able to relate some mineralisation areas to structures and faulting, and to build on that work and generate the best drill targets we will need to carry out some geophysics. The lockdown and interruptions to travel impacted this programme, and we are grateful to Minex Consulting and the geological team in the DRC for carrying on their work. The same factors may impact the speed at which we can go forward. But as we have reason to be optimistic, we want to get on with the work as soon as possible,” says Johnson.