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Tuesday 20 February, 2018

African Battery

Update on Cobalt Exploration Programme

RNS Number : 3233F
African Battery Metals PLC
20 February 2018
 



 

20 February 2018

African Battery Metals plc

("ABM" or the "Company")

Update on Cobalt Exploration Programme

African Battery Metals Plc, the AIM quoted African focused exploration company, is pleased to provide an update on its exploration programme at its recently acquired cobalt-copper interests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC").

Highlights:

·     Commencement of field exploration and mapping at Kisinka;

 

-     Completion of satellite imagery remote sensing report;

-     Identification of a number of targets from the report which are being followed up with ground exploration activities; 

-     Start of a cost effective and efficient augur drilling programme;

-     Several areas of stunted vegetation noted on Kisinka licence, a strong indicator of potential mineralisation; and

-     Commencement of grab sampling programme.

 

·     Deadline to exercise option to acquire second licence in DRC, Sakania (PR12729), extended from 31 January 2018 to 30 April 2018.

Roger Murphy, CEO of ABM, commented:

"We are excited to be on the ground and exploring at Kisinka,  starting with a cost effective systematic exploration programme which I am confident will deliver encouraging results.

Kisinka provides us with our first exposure to cobalt-copper projects in the centre of the world-class Katangan Copperbelt, which hosts approximately 50 per cent of the world's known cobalt resources. The area surrounding Kisinka is home to at least seven mines which whose cumulative cobalt output represents a significant proportion of cobalt production globally. We believe that Kisinka is well placed to add to this and look forward to updating the market upon initial results of our exploration programme in the near-term.  

Whilst we continue to carry out due diligence on the Sakania option, I am pleased to report we are reviewing additional cobalt-copper licences, some of which are closer to Kisinka.

In my view there is no other area of the world with the cobalt resource and simple non-arsenic metallurgy to supply the very strong demand for cobalt forecast by most experts, some of who are calling for a tripling in demand over the next ten years.  We strongly believe ABM is well positioned to be a part of this future demand."

 

Cobalt exploration in the DRC

Further to the Company's announcement of 25 January 2018, ABM's exploration programme on Kisinka (PR12728) commenced on 28 January 2018.  Kisinka is situated 30 kilometres east of Lubumbashi, the regional capital, close to seven existing large cobalt-copper mines and numerous small scale operations (fig.1). Kisinka is on the Roan, the geological sequence which hosts most of the DRC's cobalt and copper that is currently being mined by small scale mining operations selling cobalt and copper concentrate to local smelters. Prior to ABM's acquisition of Kisinka, a number of grab samples were collected from small-scale miners' pits on the licence by an independent geologist, who reported grades of up to 2.5 per cent. cobalt from a Niton XRF field analyser (the standard equipment used in the field for such analysis).  ABM has commenced a grab sample programme to follow up on these early indications of cobalt mineralisation.

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/3233F_1-2018-2-19.pdf

Fig.1. Location of Kisinka (12728 PR) and regional mines circled in pink

Since the commencement of exploration work, a number of clearings have been observed on Kisinka (fig.2), with stunted vegetation. These clearings in the normally denser vegetation are widely used in mineral exploration as they are a sign of soil contamination caused by base metal mineralisation. 

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/3233F_2-2018-2-19.pdf

Fig.2  stunted vegetation  clearings in denser vegetation on Kisinka

Auger Programme

ABM has commissioned an auger programme on Kisinka.  The equipment is on site and augering will start this week.  Augering is a fast, efficient and highly cost effective means of extracting material from up to 20 metres below surface and therefore closer to the primary rock, which hosts the mineralisation. Depending on the ground conditions, augering is an attractive exploration activity as up to 100 metres per day can be drilled. The targets to be explored by ABM's auger programme are:

·     The Grand Conglomerate (fig. 3) which occurs twice as a duplication along the entire strike length of  Kisinka. The Grand Conglomerate hosts the world-class Kamoa discovery made by Ivanhoe elsewhere on the DRC Copper Belt;

·     A series of structural dislocations and other lineaments identified by the remote sensing programme that are often associated with enhanced mineralisation; and

·     Identified stunted vegetation clearings.

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/3233F_3-2018-2-19.pdf

Fig. 3 Kisinka licence with Grand Conglomerate at contact between pink & dark brown rocks

Additional licence opportunities in the DRC

ABM has been approached by two groups with potentially attractive cobalt-copper licences available on similar financial terms to those of Kisinka and Sakania. Both licences have evidence of copper-cobalt mineralisation and both have the advantage of a period of a few months to assess the projects before any commitments are made and any payments are required. ABM is conducting due diligence work on both at the moment.

Sierra Leone

Further to previous announcements of ABM's intention to seek a farm-out or JV partner for the further development of its wholly owned Ferensola Gold Project ("FGP") in Sierra Leone, ABM is pleased to update that one interested party is currently carrying out due diligence on Ferensola under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), with a second interested group expected to be provided with access to the project's information shortly. ABM will provide regular updates as the situation progresses in due course.

**Ends**

Further enquiries

African Battery Metals plc


Roger Murphy (CEO)

+44 (0) 20 7583 8304

WH Ireland Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker)


Tim Feather / James Sinclair-Ford

+44 (0) 20 7220 1666

SP Angel Corporate Finance (Broker)


Ewan Leggat

+44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Blytheweigh (Public Relations)


Camilla Horsfall/ Nick Elwes

+44 (0) 20 7138 3224

Madini (Financial and Technical Adviser)


Iain Macpherson / Ilja Graulich

+27 (0) 11 469 0629

 

Notes to Editors

About African Battery Metals Plc

African Battery Metals ("ABM") is an AIM-listed, African focused exploration company developing projects in strategic metals, including metals used in the manufacturing of batteries. ABM's strategy is to leverage its access to a significant project pipeline, in order to become a substantial operator in this market sector.

The Company's objective is to effectively and rapidly advance its portfolio of cobalt right through to production stage, taking advantage of the vast local and technical expertise of its management team and advisors. ABM may also add to its portfolio not only cobalt-copper and gold, but potentially also in other battery metals.

Wherever ABM explores and operates it always does so using the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards.


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