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While Katoro Gold’s Haneti project is still in the early stages of development, the company believes that there is significant margin for growth.

Moreover, as executive chairman LOUIS COETZEE tells GERARD PETER, Haneti heralds a new direction for the company as it seeks to diversify its portfolio.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 2, 2020

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Katoro Gold acquired Haneti from coal and energy focused company Kibo Mining in June 2018 as part of the overall acquisition of Kibo’s subsidiary, Kibo Nickel.

Katoro has a 75% interest in Haneti. Development of Haneti is being advanced in tandem with its joint venture partner, Power Metal Resources which has the remaining 25% interest in the project.

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Located in central Tanzania, Haneti covers an area of about 5 000 km² and forms a near contiguous block.

The project has significant mineral discovery potential due to this favourable geological setting and this has been demonstrated by the results of historic exploration carried out over the area by previous operators.

Haneti is a polymetallic system with identified potential for nickel (sulphide and laterite), PGMS, copper, gold, lithium and rare earth elements.

Prospectivity for nickel, copper and PGMs (e.g. platinum, palladium, rhodium and others) is associated with a linear NW-SE trending zone of iron and magnesium rich rocks (ultramafics), the Haneti-Itiso Ultramafic Complex (HIUC).

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The principle target zone is an 80 km long ultramafic belt with grades from surface sampling of up to 13.6% nickel and 2.33 g/t combined platinum and palladium.

Within the ultramafic belt is the principle target, Mihanza Hill, where 2015 geophysical work identified significant extensions to nickel sulphide prospective target rock formations and geochemical interpretation has identified prospectivity for chonolith type nickel-copper-PGM mineralisation.

Also, within the Haneti licence area there is identified Greenstone belt gold potential to the west, where there is extensive artisanal gold mining in an area a few kilometres to the east of Shanta Gold’s 0.7 Moz Singida project.

Furthermore, Haneti has the potential for lithium, tantalum niobium and REE mineralisation –demonstrated by host pegmatites in an area where sampling has returned a high-grade sample of 2.6% lithium and strongly anomalous results in niobium and tantalum, key to the company’s future plans.

While Katoro also is progressing two other gold projects in Tanzania, Coetzee states that Haneti is key to the company’s plan to expand its commodities portfolio.

“We have always believed that Haneti has the potential to become a world-class deposit. As such, from a Katoro perspective, it is key to enable our declared intention of moving into the battery metals space, which has become an important focus for us,” states Coetzee.

Exploration update

In May last year, Katoro conducted follow-up soil sampling in the central part of the HIUC.

“This extended the strike length of previously identified high priority areas and the findings have been utilised to inform planning for a proposed drill programme. Furthermore, it also identified a new, previously unidentified exploration target,” adds Coetzee.

“We are still in the early stages of exploration work, but we have done quite a lot of work in the last few years. This includes mapping, airborne survey data and geophysical studies.

“We’ve done some chemical analysis as well.”

“As a result, we have now identified three primary drill targets. We done all the early stage work preparation for the bore drill programme and we are now in the process of doing the final preparation for the first phase of exploration drilling.”

Business as usual

Haneti straddles the Dodoma, Kondoa and Manyoni districts all within the Dodoma (Administrative) region.

Access to the project is via Dodoma by tar road for 50 km and well-maintained gravel road for another 38 km to the village of Haneti.

“Access within the project is by a dense network of 4WD navigable roads and bush tracks that provide good penetration through most of the tenements,” add Coetzee.

Meanwhile, while many mining companies have voiced their dissatisfaction Tanzania’s, calling some of the amendments draconian and not investor-friendly, Coetzee states that Katora has no challenges of any kind doing business in the country.

“We have been operating in Tanzania for the last 20 years. When the new Tanzanian mining act was passed, many people were up in arms about the new regulations and we were also concerned.

Read: Mining in Tanzania – the good, the bad and the ugly

“But our reason was motivated by the fact that we have as a matter of principle, always been well above the new minimum social and labour statutory compliance requirements. So, we are confident that we continue to steadily progress Haneti,” he concludes.