Botswana-focused explorer Kavango Resources has completed the first stage of orientation work on one of the I10 ring structures at its Ditau project, which includes two prospecting licences (PL169/2012 and PL010/2019) in a strategic joint venture with Power Metal Resources.
The ring structures are potential carbonatites. Carbonatites are the principal source of rare earth elements, including the much sought-after elements neodymium and praseodymium, which are used in the manufacture of the new generation of electric vehicles, magnets and other high-tech applications.
Kavango’s immediate priority is to confirm whether the ten ring structures at Ditau contain carbonatite. The exploration process for this is relatively straightforward.
Assuming the controlled-source audio-frequency magnetotellurics (CSAMT) surveys isolate specific drill targets, these can be tested by low-cost, shallow reverse circulation drilling.
The Ditau project covers an area of 1 386 km2, with geophysical and geochemical analyses by Kavango in the two prospecting licences identifying ten ring structures and including at least one possible kimberlite.
Kavango had previously planned to complete the orientation work to calibrate its surveying equipment at the Falconbridge carbonatites. However, by focussing its efforts on the I10 magnetic anomaly, Kavango will be able to accelerate its plans for the more extensive surveying of all ten ring structures identified at Ditau.
The initial CSAMT orientation line over I10 is 5 km long and has been plotted at 50 m station intervals. Soil samples were taken at stations every 200 m. Gravity surveying at 50 m intervals and ground magnetic surveying at 12.5 m intervals is planned along the orientation line in mid-January.
The objective of the CSAMT survey is to identify the position of the various rock types below surface by testing their electrical resistivity.
Kavango CEO Michael Foster says the company has completed a lot of valuable work at Ditau over recent years.
“Drill cores from our 2019 campaign confirmed the presence of highly altered Karoo sediments, sitting above a mafic intrusive body. The alteration extended to depths greater than 300 m.”
Going forward, he says Kavango will now work to confirm whether or not the ring structures contain carbonatite, and if so, evaluate them for valuable minerals.
“Once we have calibrated our equipment based on the results from the I10 anomaly, we will survey the remaining nine ring structures to identify potential drill targets.”
Foster adds that, thanks to the knowledge base Kavango has built up at Ditau, the next phase of exploration should be “relatively straightforward” and quick to implement.
Evidence from carbonatites found in the area by Falconbridge in the 1970s suggests that the Ditau intrusive bodies are located at the bottom of the Kalahari cover sands, about 75 m below surface.