Kariba Valley Project
The Kariba Valley project is located approximately 250km from Lusaka by road, occurring 50km to the southwest of Denison Mines’ tenement that contains the Dibwe and Mutanga uranium deposits. The Kariba Valley project also contains the same Escarpment Grit Formation that hosts the mineralisation at Njame, Gwabe, Dibwe and Mutanga.
The Kariba Valley tenements occur within economic trucking radius of the proposed Njame uranium processing facility near Chirundu and thus form an important and integral part of African Energy’s resource expansion plans for southern Zambia. Any economically viable discovery of uranium in this project could result in a remote ion-exchange mining project capable of delivering high-value loaded ion-exchange resins to the Njame plant where it would be further processed to make the final product for export.
During 2010, exploration drilling programmes were completed at the Namakande and Chisebuka prospects in the Kariba Valley project. Whilst a number of narrow zones of uranium mineralisation were identified at several target areas within the Namakande prospect, none were of sufficient width to warrant further investigation in the short term. Further work is required to determine where better structural targets for thicker mineralisation exist at Namakande. In contrast, several good intersections were made at Chisebuka, extending the known mineralisation by 800m along strike to define a mineralised system over 2,000m long.
The Chisebuka prospect was originally drilled by African Energy in late 2007 where the Company identified two parallel zones of uranium mineralisation. In 2010, a programme of geological mapping and soil sampling (using a calibrated hand-held RS-125 spectrometer) was completed to provide the basis from which to plan further drilling. The mapping and soil sampling indicated that further drilling was required to complete an initial evaluation of this prospect, resulting in an additional 27 RC percussion holes for 2,085m being drilled on a nominal 400m x 100m grid.
Assay results for the first 10 holes of this additional programme have been received to date, and have extended the known mineralisation of the northern zone by 800m along strike to the northeast. Significant assays results for the two zones of mineralisation are listed in the table below. The assay data indicate that significant mineralisation has been drilled along a strike length of at least 2,000m. A detailed survey of the topography of the prospect has been competed with a differential GPS system to provide an accurate elevation model. A 3-D model of the Chisebuka deposit is currently being prepared to determine if stripping ratios are low enough to support economically viable open-pit mining. If this is determined to be the case, a programme of infill drilling for resource delineation will be undertaken.
Location map showing the Kariba Valley project
and the prospect locations referred to in the text.
Note concentric circles denoting trucking distance
to the proposed Njame uranium processing facility
Chisebuka drilling pattern overlaid on gridded image
of U3O8 in soil samples