USA-based Simba Mines has completed construction of a road system around the Cachoeiras de Binga copper ore body in Angola that will enable its on site geological team to better manage its exploration program from its base camp.
The 3,615 km2 Cachoeiras de Binga licence area lies immediately east of the regional centre of Sumbe, some 385 km south of Luanda on the main coastal road.
With the construction of the road system complete, Simba is preparing for the commencement of a new drill programme. This programme will verify data from prior exploration programs conducted by the former Angolan Geological Survey and drill key geochemical anomalies. To this end, Simba Mines has sourced drill rigs from South Africa.
Simba Mines holds a 40% interest in Cachoeiras de Binga, as well as a 35% in two other copper projects in Angola – Benguela and Zenza. It also holds a 34.5% interest in Manga, a copper/cobalt project located in the Democratic Republic of Congo near Kolwezi.
Exploration of a portion of Cachoeiras de Binga identified a measured resource of 7.1 million tonnes of copper ore with an estimated grade of 2.14% copper for some 100,000 tonnes of copper at a recovery rate of 70%. The inferred resource from this area is an additional 50 million tonnes, generating the prospect of another 750,000 tonnes of copper. Mining of the Cachoeiras resources will be undertaken through conventional heap leaching plus solvent extraction electrowinning (SXEW) to produce LME grade copper cathode. Initial plant production capacity is planned to be 20,000 tonnes a year. Following upgrading confirmation of the geological resource, it is anticipated that the plant capacity will be increased to 50,000 tonnes a year. The project is located near the coast with much infrastructure already in place. Operating costs are estimated to be less than US50c/lb.
The Zenza and Benguela copper projects are located to the north and south of Cachoeiras. The two projects contain extensive copper mineralisation of the same style as Cachoeiras. The Manga copper cobalt concession in the DRC lies along the north-eastern border of Angola and has measured and indicated resources estimated at 59.9 million tonnes with a grade of 2.14% copper for 1.4 million tonnes of copper and 550,000 tonnes of cobalt.