London-listed copper and zinc miner Galileo Resources has approved the startup of exploration on its 100%-held highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) licences PL40/2018 and PL39/2018 in western Botswana.
The exploration is aimed at defining targets for initial drill testing.
The miner notes that exploration will include heliborne-electromagnetic geophysical surveys and a reconnaissance soil sampling survey, as these two tools and techniques have been historically used to discover several major copper/silver deposits in the region.
According to Galileo, where the Kalahari overburden is relatively shallow, copper anomalism in soils has delineated subsurface copper mineralisation, while in areas of deeper Kalahari overburden, more mobile elements, such as lead and zinc, have been used as indirect pathfinders.
Electromagnetic surveys have mainly been used as an exploration tool for understanding the geological setting of the various KCB stratigraphic units under the Kalahari overburden.
The initial Galileo exploration programme is aimed at defining the most prospective structural setting for sulphide accumulations within PL40/2018 and PL39/2018, as well as possible direct geochemical signatures.
The juxtaposition of a soil geochemical anomaly and a dome feature in the electromagnetic data represents the highest priority target for drill testing.
This area has strong similarities to the nearby synclinal geological setting that hosts copper miner Cupric Canyon Capital’s Zone 5 and Zone 5N deposits, situated 25 km due west of the KCB project. The Zone 5 and Zone 5N deposits are part of the world-class Khoemacau copper/silver project, with a combined sulphide resource of 502-million tonnes at a grade of 1.4% copper and 17 g/t of gold, including 185-million tonnes at a grade of 2% copper and 27 g/t of gold.
The Galileo licences also lie 140 km along strike from Sandfire Resources’ Tshukudu exploration project that comprises the T3 copper/silver project, which is 60-million tonnes at a grade of 0.98% copper and 13.6 g/t gold.
At this project, a feasibility study is currently in progress, and the recently discovered high-grade copper A4 Dome prospect.
Further, Galileo notes that the regional synclinal settings of its PL40/2018 and PL39/2018 and Cupric's Zone 5 and Zone 5N deposits are separated by a large-scale horst/anticlinal zone.
The miner also notes that the original basin bounding extension faults that are interpreted to be situated on the margins of the horst/anticline zone are believed to have been the conduits for metal-enriched, hydrothermal fluids.
Galileo says that, typically, when these fluids reach D'kar Fm/Ngwako Pan Formation Redox boundary, copper/silver sulphides are precipitated.
In this regard, modelling of the conductive response from the well-established carbonaceous marker horizon enables the relatively easy interpretation of the location and drill targeting of the prospective D'kar Fm/Ngwako Pan Formation contact at depth.
However, Galileo states that, in some instances where the copper mineralisation is predominantly composed of chalcopyrite, such as at T3 and A4 Dome, electromagnetic surveys have also been successful in directly detecting copper mineralisation.