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African Battery Metals eyes development of Cameroon, DRC interests

3rd April 2019

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Aim-listed African Battery Metals (ABM) is now continuing work across its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) cobalt and Cameroon cobalt/nickel projects following a strategic review.

The company intends using the data obtained to identify an optimal value generation pathway for the company and its investors.

The battery metals exploration and development company said on Wednesday an updated review, supported by in-country partners, had been undertaken across four licences at Ngoila Nord, Ngoila Est, Ekok and N'dja, as well as two licence applications at Ntam Est and N'Gaoundere.

“Following a review of all available information and liaison with our in-country partners, [ABM] decided to continue our work in Cameroon, where the tenements held are seen as highly prospective for elevated grades of nickel and cobalt,” explained ABM executive director Paul Johnson.

The review work undertaken as part of the strategic and operational planning has confirmed that the Cameroon projects should be continued by ABM, he said, pointing out that a forward work programme was now being devised and would be announced in due course.

ABM, in December, embarked on sweeping changes across the company following a suspension from trading on the Aim owing to a poor financial situation.

By March, the junior miner successfully concluded its refinancing process, with a refinancing plan developed, along with a review that included the prioritisation of ABM’s existing interests and resource targets; the development of a strategic and operational plan; an initiative to identify, review and consider new opportunities; and a programme to cut corporate costs, Mining Weekly Online reported in March.

When these initiatives were approved by shareholders in February, the company was allowed to resume trading on the Aim, with Johnson assuring that ABM was now in a robust financial position and able to take the steps it needs to “drive its business forward and potentially flourish”.

“Any recovery scenario should look to focus on existing interests first, extracting the best opportunities and building from that core,” he said at the time.

Prior to this, in August, ABM acquired Cobalt Blue Holdings, the holder of the four prospecting licences and two prospecting licence applications, in Cameroon, as the prospects have close proximity and geological similarity to Geovic Mining’s Nkamouna deposit.

“The proximity and geological similarity of our interests to the Nkamouna deposit is highly attractive, particularly give the scale of Nkamouna,” he said, adding that the projects also complemented the licences in the DRC, which were prospective for cobalt.

Johnson reiterated the belief that Nkamouna remains, outside the DRC, the largest undeveloped cobalt resource globally.

Geovic published a National Instrument (NI) 43-101-compliant mineral resource on the Nkamouna deposit, with a total measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource of 323-million tonnes of 0.21% cobalt, 0.61% nickel and 1.26% manganese, with NI 43-101-compliant proven and probable mineral reserves of 0.26% cobalt, 0.66% nickel and 1.48% manganese.

“Aside from the resource delineated at Nkamouna, Geovic also identified cobalt/nickel mineralisation in five other blocks, [namely] Rapodjombo, North Mang, South Mang, Messia and Kondong, in the same region,” he said.

“The company therefore believes there is the possibility of more cobalt/nickel mineralisation in the area other than the large resource delineated by Geovic.”

An efficient and economical work programme will now be undertaken, prioritising the highest profile targets, as determined from the work undertaken and reviewed to date.

ABM also identified a seemingly cost effective exploration methodology to test mineralisation on the licence areas which should, without too much further delay, demonstrate the potential prospectivity of the licence ground.

“I look forward to providing further information in respect of our planned exploration in-country, which ideally we would like to commence as soon as possible to enable work to be completed prior to the heavy rains expected after June,” he concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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