London-listed Xtract Resources has concluded a memorandum of agreement with KPZ International to enter into an option agreement for the Eureka copper/gold project area, in Zambia.
"This option is for a large concession with a well-defined strike and splays that have not been fully investigated. We believe there is potential for a large mineralised body, as previous work was relatively superficial and did not pursue targets which are valid today.
“The traditional Zambian copperbelt mineralisation was well understood receiving all of the exploration funding to establish long life mines against relatively simple mineralisation trends. The Central Zambian iron oxide/copper/gold [belt], while identified as having exploration potential, was subordinated to conventional copperbelt trends,” explained Xtract executive chairperson Colin Bird.
He added that only in recent years has the potential been revisited and then only with direct-to-surface mineralisation exposure. The previous works, while limited, were three-dimensional, which provides a platform for an exploration programme that may lead to a large-scale copper/gold resource.
The Eureka property, comprising about 345 ha is accessed by a 100 km dirt road from Kabwe, west of the Zambian copperbelt district. The licence application was submitted in August 2017 and has been validated and the licence, when issued, will be for period of ten years with no minimum spend.
Xtract stated that rock exposure on the property is limited owing to the presence of irregular laterite and saprolite cover, and near-surface leaching of metals also occurs. Mapped bedrock comprises primarily metasedimentary rocks of the Katanga Supergroup, similar to those hosting the world-class deposits of the copperbelt to the east.
Historic exploration has been carried out periodically by several companies from the early 1950s until 2006, comprising soil sampling, geophysical surveying and pitting, as well as limited core and reverse circulation drilling. Work focused on a northwest-southeast structural corridor with associated bedrock alteration, quartz veining and copper mineralisation in at least two localities, known as Eureka and Eureka West.
Between 1951 and 1969 Road Selection Trust carried out a programme of diamond drilling at Eureka comprising mostly angled holes which cut intersections of supergene chalcocite-malachite mineralisation in a steeply-dipping zone and identified copper mineralisation.
No gold assaying was carried out. Subsequent drilling by Caledonia Mining between 1994 and 2006 confirmed the mineralised zone and identified additional gold mineralisation.