Western Foreland Copper Project, Northwest Zambia

Western Foreland Copper Project

 

The Western Foreland Project comprises two large scale exploration licences 29123-HQ-LEL and 30459-HQ-LEL in Northwestern Zambia. With a combined area of 107,000 hectares, the licences cover ground along the Angolan-DRC-Zambian border, located within the Western Foreland geological district that hosts the high-grade Kamoa – Kakula copper deposits in DRC just 100km to the NE and the Central Fold and Thrust Belt (“Fold Belt”) in NW Zambia.

 

The licences have received very limited historical exploration to date, the area has become increasingly sought after for copper explorers, and the company wishes to rapidly advance towards drill ready targets.

Figure 1 Location of the Western Foreland licences

Figure 1. Location of the Western Foreland licences 29123 and 30459 in Northwest Zambia

Joint Venture Agreement

 

On 24 August 2023 Xtract announced that it had entered into a joint venture agreement with Cooperlemon Consultancy Limited, with the option to earn a 65% interest in the Western Foreland Project by committing to a Phase 1 exploration expenditure of no less than US$2,000,000 within the first two years of the agreement.

 

If the Phase 1 exploration results are successful and prove the continuity of mineralisation at grades suggesting the potential for the future development of a Mineral Resource of not less than 500,000 tonnes of contained copper, consistent with economic recovery at the depth of discovery with a minimum internal rate of return of not less than 25% and a payback period not exceeding 42 months (including the recovery of capital expenditure), then there will be a second two year exploration period.

 

The Phase 2 exploration expenditure of US$3 million will be funded by Xtract which will be the operator of the Licences for the duration of the Agreement.

 

Refer to the news announcement of 24 August 2023 for fuller details of the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement.

 

Geology, location and prospectivity

 

Ivanhoe Mine’s Kamoa-Kakula copper mine is projected to become the third largest copper-complex globally under new expansions, ranking among the world’s top 10 copper deposits on size and grade. The style of mineralisation and associated geology and structure responsible for the Kamoa-Kakula complex could extend into the Xtract licences in NWZambia, heightening exploration interest in the area.

 

The Company believes there is scope for the discovery of potentially high-grade Kamoa-style mineralisation at depth and lower grade Kolwezi-type mineralisation at or near-surface.

 

The licence areas comprising the Joint Venture are entirely surrounded by ground under licence to, or within, partnerships or joint ventures between local companies and global leaders in the mining industry such as Rio Tinto plc, Anglo American plc, First Quantum Minerals Ltd., and Ivanhoe Mines.

Figure 2 Location of major copper mines and exploration licences in the adjoining area.jpg

Figure 2. Location of major copper mines and exploration licences in the adjoining area

Planned Exploration Strategy

 

The company plans to undertake Phase 1 exploration within the period by way of a reconnaissance campaign of mapping, soil geochemistry, geophysics and drilling, building towards discovery and definition of a new Mineral Resource.

 

Background

 

The style of mineralisation and associated geology and structure responsible for the Kamoa-Kakula deposit operated by Ivanhoe Mines in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, is believed to extend across the border into North-West Zambia where the Licences are located. Ivanhoe Mines Kakula Mine is reported to be the world’s highest -grade copper mine with reported deep high-grade (>5% Cu) copper mineralisation.

 

The geology of the Licence areas is dominated by the Western Foreland succession (Kamoa-style mineralisation) and the neighbouring Lufilian Fold Thrust Belt that plays host to lower grade bulk tonnage near-surface mineralisation. The Licence areas  that cover the projected Western Foreland – Thrust Belt boundary are historically underexplored and are therefore considered to be strongly prospective.

 

Kamoa-style mineralisation requires the architectural domain known as the Western Foreland, along with the presence of diagnostic lithology that includes a reduced diamictite horizon marking the boundary of reduced – oxidised strata and structures resulting from growth faults including grabens and stratigraphic thickening.

 

African Pioneer Plc, which has an interest in four licences in North West Zambia three of which are adjacent to the Licences, recently reported that its partner’s (First Quantum Minerals) exploration had confirmed the presence of mineralisation with diagnostic regional geological and architectural similarities apparently consistent with Kamoa-Kakula deposit mineralisation located in the DRC and with apparent similarities to that needed to facilitate the large scale deposition of high-grade copper mineralisation of the Kamoa-Kakula type.