Tanzania – African focused junior mineral exploration company Walkabout Resources has intercepted shallow, wide and massive graphite during initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its Lindi Jumbo graphite project site in south eastern Tanzania.

Maiden drilling at the Lindi Jumbo graphite project has revealed extensive, near surface visually classified massive graphite along with multiple wide intersections of graphitic schists and gneisses. The drilling has confirmed the presence of multiple, wide, near surface graphite layers along the shallow dipping flanks of antiforms and synforms in the project area.

A massive graphite boulder at Wakabout Resources' Lindi Jumbo graphite project in Tanzania
A massive graphite boulder at Walkabout Resources' Lindi Jumbo graphite project in Tanzania

To date 17 RC drill holes have been completed for 1061 m with total of 525m of graphite intersected, while a 200m diamond drill program is due to commence this week.

While no assay results have yet been returned, visually massive graphite at surface has previously assayed between 16% TGC and 43% TGC. The drill programme has revealed that 37%, or 198 m by length of graphite intersections are classified as massive with visible flakes

“Through our R drill programme we have identified a near surface and potentially high grade zone within the Gilbert ARC which will be the focus of our immediate attention and can be defined as a resource very quickly. This area is well suited for a first phase mining operation in line with our stated strategy to rapidly develop several modular mine-sites at Lindi Jumbo,” Walkabout Resources MD Allan Mulligan says.

“The antiformal structure at Gilberts ARC is similar to such a structure defined next door at Nachu and which is listed as the highest grade area of that resource. We were also excited to expose several massive graphite outcrops with the bulldozer, he says.

Drilling Report

The maiden drilling program of 17 holes, completed over selected priority VTEM targets, was planned to intersect the shallow graphite layers as modelled from the VTEM survey as close to perpendicular as possible.

All of the drillholes in the target zones intersected multiple shallow and wide graphite layers, often massive in nature and displaying flakes > 1mm. The dip of the mineralised units intersected in the drilling is very shallow (between 20 and 30 degrees) which is further supported by sporadic outcrops in the drilling areas.

The bulk of the drilling was concentrated in the Gilberts ARC area where multiple horizons of shallow, large flake and massive graphite was intersected on the flanks of an anti-form over a strike distance in excess of 1km.

Thick graphitic units have been intersected from surface as well as at depths more than 80m vertically beneath the surface. The management team in consultation with the on-site geologists decided to focus drilling in the area that appeared to have most promise and could deliver a +5Mt resource within a contained potential mine-site area. This area was confirmed to be the Gilbert ARC.

Intersections within several holes of this area appeared to be massive in nature with the graphite reporting to the cyclone as rich, black or grey material that floats on top of the wash water. The nature of these wide and massive down-hole intersections meets the company’s strategic criteria in developing bespoke, “right-size” modular graphite mines supplying locked in end-user customers.

The intersections within the Gilbert ARC are near surface, wide and relatively flat in structure making the potential orebody, which is yet to be defined, particularly suitable to shallow open cut mining.

Walkabout Resources intends to define a modest and shallow resource at the Lindi Jumbo project as soon as possible and then commence necessary studies to define a mine design and market the product to an end-user partner.

Significant graphitic intersections include:

  • LJRC010 – 16m from 7m to 23m and 32m from 29m to 61m with the hole ending in mineralisation.
  • LJRC017 – 27m from 15m to 42m and 47m from 48m to 95m
  • LJRC011 – 35m from 5m to 40m
  • LJRC009 – 8m from 1m to 9m and 36m from 17m to 53m
  • LJRC012 – 34m from 3m to 37m

Future work

A diamond drill program of around 200m will commence this week, with drillholes planned to confirm grades/intersections of the RC drilling (twinned holes) as well as complete infill drilling between the wider spaced RC drillholes with the aim of delineating a shallow reportable maiden resource.

Core from the diamond drilling program will be sent to Perth for metallurgical testwork which will commence as soon as the drilling program has been completed and the core arrives in Australia.

Massive graphite outcrops that were exposed through the groundworks for the RC drilling program have been ripped in trenches and collected as bulk samples for additional metallurgical and analytical testwork. Batches of samples for all holes have been delivered to SGS in Mwanza for sample preparation and the pulps will be sent to Perth for analyses within the next few days, the company reports.

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