Preparations are underway to launch phase two of the exploration project at the Ambodilafa nickel-copper-platinum deposits in Madagascar.
Jubilee Platinum Plc and its joint venture partner Impala Platinum Holdings have announced the approval of an exploration budget of up to US$1.25 million (almost R9 million) for the new exploration phase – for the past year Impala has been providing full funding for the exploration programme at Ambodilafa.
The phase two exploration programme will focus on a 10 to 12-hole drilling programme in three areas, as well as further field exploration, including the mapping and soil sampling necessary to extend the mineralised horizon identified during Phase 1 drilling.
Jubilee CEO Colin Bird reveals that several targets in the extensive Ambodilafa area require testing prior to more focused drilling. ‘‘We are delighted that Impala has elected to participate in this next important phase of exploration”
In 2006, the company drilled three holes in the southern portions of the licence, of which one hole – drilled on a geochemical anomaly on the fringes of the geophysical anomaly – intersected massive, semi-massive, net textured and disseminated nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation at a depth of 24m. This mineralisation generally persisted, although not continuously, to a depth of some 220 m. Higher grade intersections included 2.2m at 1.29%Ni, 0.31%Cu, and 0.31g/t 2 platinum group elements (2PGE) + gold(Au) and 6.5m at 0.61%Ni, 0.30%Cu and 0.12g/t 2PGE+Au.
Geological mapping, geochemical sampling, reinterpretation of the geophysical data and results of new radio-metrics survey data recently made available have provided new information on the extent and orientation of the intrusion, and have delineated areas with potential for nickel-copper as well as PGE mineralisation.
The Ambodilafa project lies within the 17.5 km long by 6 km wide Vohipaha ultramafic intrusive, southeast of the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo.
The prospecting licence is held by Mineral Resources of Madagascar Sarl, which is 100% owned by Jubilee. Impala Platinum has an option agreement with Jubilee to earn in a 51% interest in the project.