Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR), the London Stock Exchange AIM listed investor in strategic natural resource opportunities, has today provided an update regarding the Company’s Joint Venture (“JV”) project with partners MOD Resources (ASX:MOD) in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana (70% MOD Resources/30% Metal Tiger). Metal Tiger also holds 95,543,934 MOD shares, equivalent to 5.049% of MOD’s issued share capital and 1,541,667 MOD warrants at an exercise price of 6 cents (Australian). Activities in Botswana are conducted under the JV’s local operating company Tshukudu Metals Botswana (Pty) Ltd. (“Tshukudu”).
Drilling has intersected new zones of visible copper mineralisation 300m west and northeast of planned pit.
Copper mineralisation now extends over a strike length of 1.5km and remains open.
Seven drill rigs now operating at T3, diamond core drilling progressing well.
Prefeasibility Study now modelling a 2.5Mtpa processing rate, up 25% compared to the Scoping Study.
Excellent metallurgical testwork results received.
Michael McNeilly Chief Executive Officer of Metal Tiger plc commented: “We are delighted to provide an update on activities in Botswana. Since drilling recommenced in August, the Tshukudu team have completed over 6,100 metres of drilling with a total of 19 diamond holes completed or in progress.
Very excitingly, 50m wide zones of visible copper mineralisation have been logged in core from four holes drilled along strike from the current T3 Mineral Resource. We eagerly await the assay results from these holes, and other holes, which point to the potential for major strike and down-dip extensions to the current Resource.
Work on the Prefeasibility Study is also progressing well and remains on schedule with the decision taken to increase the modelled ore processing rate to a level 25% above that used in the Scoping Study to reflect the increase in the Mineral Resource, the expected mineable inventory increase and the strong copper price. We look forward to assessing the positive effect these factors have on the Project’s baseline economics.”
For images that may assist readers in the visualisation of the T3 Project area and drill collars mentioned in this announcement, we would refer to the announcement released today by MOD Resources. This announcement can be viewed through the following link:
Shareholders should note that the timing of MOD announcements are outside the control of MTR, however, MTR does its utmost to announce the drill results and important updates as soon as practicable after MOD makes its announcement to the ASX. MTR are only made aware of drill results and important updates immediately prior to the MOD release.
T3 Drilling Programme Update
The current phase of drilling at the T3 Copper/Silver Deposit commenced on 7th August 2017, with approval granted for the recommencement of both diamond core (DC) and reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the T3 Project and its vicinity, through to December 2018.
Visible copper mineralisation consisting multiple intervals of disseminated and vein hosted sulphides have been logged within wide zones estimated to be greater than 50m true thickness, in diamond drill holes, MO-G-74D, MO-G-76D, MO-G-79D and MO-G-80D, located along strike at the eastern and western limits of drilling at T3.
New zones of mineralisation are well outside the current Mineral Resource area. Assay results are required to confirm the copper intervals, though geological logging has determined that mineralisation is dominated by finely disseminated chalcocite with localised veins showing chalcocite and bornite. The mineralisation is hosted by both sandstone and mudstone.
New zones are located down-dip from narrow intersections of copper and lead/zinc mineralisation intersected at shallow depth by previous drilling. For example, the wide intersection of visible sulphides in MO-G-80D, located 300m west of the planned open pit occurs circa 200m down dip from a 1m intersection of chalcopyrite intersected in water bore hole MO-G-WB06.
Copper mineralisation now extends over an open strike length of over 1.5km.
Several other holes in the current programme have intersected encouraging vein hosted mineralisation down-dip from the planed T3 open-pit. Assay results from these holes will be announced soon and once infill drilling is complete drilling will focus on this area.
Drilling has also targeted the Induced Polarisation (IP) geophysics anomaly located to the north of T3. Hole MO-3R-08D has been completed to a depth of 643.9m intersecting minor vein hosted chalcopyrite between 590m and 595m down hole, but not determining the source of the IP anomaly. The possibility that the target sequence may be off-set, to the north of MO-3R-08D, by a major structural feature interpreted from the drill core, is planned to be investigated by future drilling. This major structure may also be related to the 10km long Electromagnetic (EM) geophysics anomaly (T3 Deposit EM anomaly) which extends to the east and west of T3 (see announcement of 21 July 2017).
Currently, there are 7 drill rigs now operating at T3; two DC rigs testing east and west strike extensions to T3 Deposit; three DC rigs infill drilling the current Resource; and two RC rigs drilling diamond hole pre-collars and drilling water boreholes to test the potential for a sustainable source of plant processing water.
Since drilling recommenced, a total of 11 new DC drill holes have been completed (totalling 4,405m), 4 depth extensions (totalling 1,695m) have been drilled to previous holes and 4 new DC holes are in progress.
T3 Prefeasibility Study (PFS) Progress
The T3 open-pit prefeasibility works are progressing to schedule with the completion of the overall PFS Study expected in December 2017. Updates on the specific study elements are outlined below.
Mining & Process Engineering Studies
Annual ore production targets have been revised to an ore processing rate of 2.5 Mtpa, a 25% increase on the Scoping Study production target.
Upgrade is in response to the growth in the T3 Mineral Resource Estimate (announced 24 August 2017), the expected increase in the mineable inventory and the strength in the copper price since the Scoping Study was announced.
Planned process plant design will allow for a possible future expansion of up to 4.0 Mtpa. This expansion capacity gives optionality if there are further upgrades to the T3 Resource and possible supplementary ore supply from nearby deposits.
Results of locked cycle testwork on composite samples for the three main T3 ore domains (Chalcocite, Bornite and Chalcopyrite) have been received (Table 1).
Table 1: Locked Cycle testwork results from composite samples of three T3 ore types.
|Domain||Copper||Silver||Mass Recovery %|
|Recovery %||Grade %||Recovery %||Grade g/t|
Locked cycle testwork is more indicative of a production scale metallurgical response relative to the batch testwork which was used in the Scoping Study. Ore intervals from a total of 22 drill holes were used to prepare representative composites for this PFS testwork programme.
Copper recoveries are excellent, ranging from 93.3% to 96.3% into concentrate grades containing 33.1% to 48.6% Cu.
Silver recoveries and concentrate grades were also very good notably in chalcocite and bornite ores which host most of the high-grade silver mineralisation. Penalty elements were at acceptable levels e.g. arsenic ranged from 254ppm to 1,905ppm.
A series of large bore vertical wells are being drilled across the T3 site to allow comprehensive testing and modelling of the groundwater quality and quantity.
These hydrological test wells, and associated modelling, will be used to both develop a water supply solution for the project and refine the open pit design currently underway.
All six water bore test holes drilled so far have struck water and results are being evaluated.
Applications for water extraction will be prepared once sustainable yields are calculated and T3 water requirements are finalised.
Environmental Approvals & Stakeholder Engagement
Baseline flora, fauna and biodiversity studies are ongoing during the dry season and are expected to be completed in the current quarter.
Preparation is underway to commence the formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process soon after completion of the Pre-feasibility Study.
Exploration access agreement for the farm associated with the T3 Project has been extended to 30 April 2018.
Exploration access agreements have been executed for farms associated with the AEM geophysics targets surrounding T3. These farm access agreements are a precursor to gaining approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for drilling other high priority targets along the T3 Dome.
Tshukudu is developing stakeholder engagement policies and commencing baseline social studies to enable consistent and fair treatment of all stakeholders associated with exploration and development activities in Botswana.
The T3 Project is located on the Kalahari Copper Belt in northern Botswana and is part of the MOD/MTR joint venture Botswana Copper/Silver Project. T3 is located within the central part of the T3 Dome (approximately 1000km2), which is the focus of rapidly increasing exploration activity undertaken by Tshukudu. Two significant resources have been discovered to date within the T3 Dome: T1 (Mahumo deposit 100% MOD) and T3 (70% MOD / 30% MTR).
The T3 deposit was discovered in March 2016 when a reverse circulation (“RC”) drill hole intersected 52m @ 2.0% Cu and 32g/t Ag from shallow depth. The maiden T3 JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource was announced on 26 September 2016 with the first Resource upgrade announced on 24 August 2017. The results of a Scoping Study for an open pit mine at T3 with a 2Mtpa processing plant, an indicative mine life of 10 years and an average production rate of 21,800tpa of copper and 665,000oz pa of silver was released on 6 December 2016. Work on a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) commenced in January 2017 and additional deeper copper mineralisation was discovered below the T3 Resource in February 2017.
The T3 Prospect geological data and exploration results have been reviewed and approved by Jacques Janse van Rensburg, BSc (Hons), Business Development Manager and Competent Person for MOD Resources Ltd. Mineral Resource estimation and classification of the T3 Copper/Silver Project was conducted and approved by Mr A.I. Pretorius, MSc. Pri.Sci.Nat. an independent consultant to MOD Resources Ltd.