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Zambezi Nickel Ltd (LMY)

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Wednesday 20 September, 2006

Zambezi Nickel Ltd


Zambezi Nickel Ltd
20 September 2006

20 September 2006

                     Zambezi acquires Mavita Nickel Project

  • Mavita Nickel Project in Mozambique acquired from BHP Billiton

  • Mitaba Nickel Project diamond drill programme completed 12 August 2006

  • High priority targets defined at Mitaba from ground IP results

  • Results of first-priority holes from Mitaba

Zambezi Nickel Limited ('Zambezi' or the 'Company') (AIM Code: ZNI), the
AIM-quoted African nickel exploration and development company, today announces
that a definitive contract has been signed with BHP Billiton Plc ('BHP 
Billiton') for the acquisition of the Mavita Nickel Project in Mozambique from 
BHP Billiton by Zambezi.

Mavita Project transaction

The Mavita Project comprises two prospecting licences, LPP 1045 and LPP 1046,
located in the Manica province of central western Mozambique. Mozambique borders
Zambia, where the Company currently operates. Mavita is well served by the
regional road network, is adjacent to the Cahora Bassa power line, is 56km from
the provincial airport at Chimoio and is 179km from the deep-water port at
Beira. The geological setting of the Mavita Project area places it within the
eastward extension of the Archaean Zimbabwean Craton. The Mavita Project
includes several areas of significant aeromagnetic and stream sediment
geochemical nickel anomalies, coincident with mapped ultramafic lithologies.
None of these anomalies have been drill tested to date.

The basic terms of the agreement with BHP Billiton are:

  • BHP Billiton will transfer the Mavita title to Zambezi and Zambezi will be
    the 100% owner and operator of the Mavita Project

  • Zambezi has agreed to spend a minimum of US$150,000 on the project over
    the next 18 months

  • BHP Billiton has the option to clawback 100% of the project anytime after
    the threshold of 200,000 tons of contained nickel equivalent metal at JORC
    inferred level is defined

  • BHP Billiton will reimburse Zambezi at 2.5 times all past expenditures
    upon clawback and pay Zambezi a 3% net smelter return during the life of the

  • BHP Billiton will earn a 3% net smelter return during the life of the mine
    if it does not exercise its option to clawback

  • BHP Billiton retains first right to be appointed as marketing agent and to
    purchase at commercial terms base and precious metals products from the
    project. In case of dispute over off-take commercial terms, BHP Billiton has
    the first right to match formal market offer

BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified natural resources company, with
some 37,000 employees across around 100 operations in approximately 25
countries. Its operations encompass a broad range of commodities including
aluminium, energy coal, metallurgical coal, copper, manganese, iron ore,
uranium, nickel, diamonds, silver and titanium minerals, oil, gas, and liquefied
natural gas.

Commenting on the announcement, Paul Rankine, CEO of Zambezi said, 'Today's
Mavita deal brings additional value to the Company's portfolio at no immediate
cost. Shareholders should note that the Company is also actively examining other
opportunities for possible acquisitions of nickel prospects in the SADC region.'

Mitaba Project update

Zambezi completed a substantial diamond-core drilling programme on 12 August
2006 that was designed to test targets at the Mitaba Project. The programme
consisted of 20 holes for a total of 5,138 metres, of which 3,177 metres were
first-priority holes. Besides fulfilling the main sampling objective, the drill
cores will also provide material for metallurgical testwork, including
processing and recovery characteristics of any significant mineralisation
intersected. Results received from first-priority holes are as follows:

    Drillhole               Coordinates                 From             To              Interval              Ni
                                                        (m)             (m)                Width               %
                          N               E
MHD001                    8,266,264        715,453          10.40            47.00                 36.60           0.25
                                                            55.50            81.55                 26.05           0.27
                                                            87.00           145.00                 58.00           0.26

MHD002                    8,266,388        715,763          21.00            70.00                 49.00           0.27
                                                           101.70           184.40                 82.70           0.29

MHD003                    8,266,757        716,502         175.80           214.00                 38.20           0.24

MHD004                    8,266,634        716,541           1.00            30.60                 29.60           0.25
                                                            56.30            86.50                 30.20           0.23

MHD005                    8,266,642        716,698          99.60           132.40                 32.80           0.30
                                                           160.00           183.00                 23.00           0.29

MHD006                    8,266,639        716,868          24.60            62.00                 37.40           0.27
                                                            83.00           125.85                 42.85           0.31

MWD001                    8,264,520        710,411         147.00           227.00                 80.00           0.22
                                                           267.00           327.00                 60.00           0.22

MWD003                    8,264,716        710,848         123.00           153.30                 30.30           0.23
                                                           162.00           192.00                 30.00           0.21

Coordinate system Arc50 UTM Zone 35S. Holes oriented at -55 degrees to an
azimuth of 351 degrees magnetic. Mineralized intervals calculated on basis of
lower cut-off of 0.2% Ni, minimum mineralized interval of 0.5m, maximum internal
waste of 1m, only mineralized widths greater than 25 metres reported here.

During the first-priority drilling programme, a ground IP survey of the Mitaba
Project area was carried out to test for the presence of disseminated sulphide
bodies. Significant anomalies were detected at both Mitaba Hill and Mitaba West,
and in an area west of Mitaba West termed the Mitaba West Extension. The
second-priority holes have targeted these anomalies. The assay results of this
drilling programme are expected by the end of September 2006.

During the course of the second-priority diamond-drilling programme, geological
evidence was observed that has lead to a reinterpretation of the geological
model for the Mitaba project, from that of a lava-flow succession to that of a
layered sill.

The presence of mafic bodies within the dominantly ultramafic body, apparently
distributed regularly throughout the sequence, was previously interpreted as
reflecting the presence of more mafic tops to the ultramafic flows. The
recognition in drill core of contact metamorphic reactions adjacent to the
boundaries of these mafic bodies however, confirms that they are intrusive
dykes, a fact not apparent in surface outcrops due to preferential erosion of
these soft zones.

Furthermore, detailed geological logging has led to the recognition of several
pyroxene-rich layers within the ultramafic body, suggesting that the body was
originally a layered sill. The Mitaba body thus represents a large layered,
mainly ultramafic intrusive body that has been intruded by a later mafic dyke
swarm. This has implications for the potential for the presence of platinum
group element (PGE) mineralisation, which is currently being assessed.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Rankine                                   Laurence Read/Abigail Singleton

Zambezi Nickel Limited                         Conduit PR

Tel:       +44 20 7193 3728                    Tel:       +44 20 7429 6666

Mob:       +44 795 280 7110                    Mob:       +44 797 995 5923

A full report including figures is available on the Zambezi website at

The information in this report that relates to Exploration Results is based on
information compiled by Mr Noel Sheppy, who is a Member of The Australasian
Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Sheppy is employed by Ripley Resources
Pty Limited. Mr Sheppy has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style
of mineralisation and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a
Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for
Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr Sheppy
consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information
in the form and context in which it appears.


  • African focused pure nickel exploration/development company

  • Admitted to AIM in October 2005, raising £1.6 million

  • Exploration rights over 3 prospects on 2 project areas (Mitaba & Paulwi)
    in Zambia

  • Strategy to aggressively explore and evaluate currently identified

  • Strong position from which to evaluate and possibly acquire nickel
    prospects in the region

  • Exploiting shared cost/infrastructure opportunities with AIM quoted
    Zambezi Resources

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange