Copper and cobalt miner Arc Minerals reports that a maiden diamond drilling programme at the Fwiji target at the Zamsort and Zaco licence areas in north western Zambia, has intersected oxide and sulphide mineralisation.
Nine holes have been drilled to date at Fwiji over an area of more than 1 km2, with these initial holes confirming the interpreted anticlinal feature and intersecting both oxide and sulphide mineralisation, according to the visuals and on-site portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyses.
However, the miner reports that, unlike the other targets drilled to date, according to the pXRF analyses, the carbonaceous shale unit at Fwiji has been shown to be carrying sulphide copper mineralisation.
In addition to the drilling programme, and as part of the Anglo American exclusivity agreement entered into in July, the company has sent off, for assay, 2 500 soil samples that cover both the Zamsort and Zaco licence areas.
These samples, selected by Anglo American for laboratory assay, were sent to ALS in South Africa. The samples selected cover all licence areas and were collected during the 2015 to 2019 soil sampling programmes.
In July, two of Arc Minerals’ subsidiaries in Zambia entered into a six-month exclusivity agreement with a subsidiary of Anglo American in respect of its copper exploration licence in Zambia.
The results from the laboratory assays, as opposed to the historic pXRF work done by the company in 2015 to 2019, will enable the mapping of the multiple components of a hydrothermal mineral system.
The components defined include lithology, stratigraphy and redox boundaries, as well as zones of metal depletion and metal enrichment.
The pXRF analysis of the soil samples collected over the target area defined an arc-shaped low-order copper anomaly of greater than 100 ppm extending for about 4 km, within which a core, high-order copper anomaly of greater than 200 ppm was traced for about 2 km.
Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the backlog of assay work from the laboratory in Zambia is being processed and the laboratory has indicated the results should be with the company shortly.
Arc has received all the assays from ALS and is completing its interpretation of this new data. As a result of the new information, Arc reports that it is reassessing its drilling priorities.
Arc executive chairperson Nick von Schirnding says that, in terms of the developments at Fwiji, it is not the first time Arc has found this area to be mineralised, but more importantly the carbonaceous shale unit is analogous to the host unit at First Quantum’s Sentinel Deposit, 50 km to the south east of the Kabompo Dome.
“Fwiji is the thirteenth target and is the first time significant oxide and sulphide mineralisations have become evident based on our X-ray fluorescence analysis.”