It’s often said that nothing comes for free.
Nine times out of ten, I would agree – certainly when it comes to mineral exploration. That being said, I feel we bucked the trend with our news on Friday.
If you haven’t already seen, we announced a significant extension to our mineralised Banded Iron Formation (“BIF”) at Ditau.
This alone is excellent news, assisting in the ongoing developing of our lode gold model for the project. What makes the development even better this time around, however, is that it has incurred no additional cost to Kavango.
Instead, our progress here boils down to some initiative and a great deal of much-appreciated support from the Botswana Geological Institute. With this in mind, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some more on this fortunate turn of events…
Building momentum at Ditau
Really, the circumstances that led to this positive development date back to this time last year. It was around this point we were preparing for our own drilling campaign to test the i10 anomaly at Ditau, originally targeting the carbonatite theory our team had developed.
While doing a recce in the field, Hillary came across two recently drilled exploration holes – evidenced by the concrete caps covering them.
To be honest, we pretty quickly had a good idea of how they got there.
The caps told us the pair of holes were drilled in 2021. Given we were the metal exploration licence holders at this time, we knew they were almost certainly diamond exploration holes. This is possible because in Botswana metal and diamond licences can overlap.
Photo from Hillary’s field journal from when he first found Hole X077 (his notepad is on top of the cap).
From here, we then took an educated guess that another company had, like us, been targeting i10, but working on the theory that it was a kimberlite capable of hosting diamonds. We also interpreted the lack of follow-up as an indicator that this third party had not found what they were looking for and had moved on.
Parking this for the time being, we pushed forward with our own drilling of i10.
Our first hole, DITDD003, did not hit anything.
However, our second hole–DITDD004–encountered a 100m thick mineralised “Zone of Interest” from 293m to 393m. This contained anomalous gold and copper values and remained open at depth at the end of the hole.
Fast forward to 2023, and a report authored by Dr. Mumin of Brandon University posited that this Zone of Interest is likely to be part of a very thick mineralised Banded Iron Formation–or “BIF”. Moreover, he wrote that the alteration and deformation present in core from this BIF suggests excellent potential for a large-scale lode gold system.
This, as I’ve written before, immediately presented us with a very exciting opportunity at Ditau; lode gold systems are responsible for vast precious metal deposits globally.
So to advance our understanding of this new model quickly, we launched into an accelerated work programme detailed at the end of this announcement.
This work is ongoing. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that those two diamond drilling holes we’d previously encountered could add a great deal of value. After all:
- The holes had already been drilled, potentially providing ready access to core
- They were drilled into our primary target zone, just 470m northeast of DITDD004
- They were exploration holes specifically, potentially cutting out the onerous piecing together of geological info from various boreholes that typically takes place during historical logging
Shortly after receiving Dr. Mumin’s report, I reached out to inquire about the two existing holes over i10.
I quickly learned that we were correct in our assumptions around the additional exploration activity at i10. The first of the two holes was abandoned at 60m (this happens in drilling, as we recently saw in the Kalahari Copper Belt), but the second hole–X077– was drilled to 189m.
The Institute also, very graciously, agreed to come with us when we went to review the drill core and logs from Hole X077, now under its ownership.
Naturally, we were delighted at the offer and immediately flew Brett out to complete an initial review alongside our team on the ground.
Suffice it to say, the core has been very useful.
As detailed in Friday’s announcement, we found that Hole X077 was stopped in the same mineralised BIF we intersected with Hole DITDD004. With this, we can draw two important initial conclusions…
First, we now know that the mineralised BIF spans at least 470m to the northwest of DITDD004 – the distance between the two holes. It could be much longer, and our work moving forward will aim to delineate its true length in more detail.
Second, while we already know the mineralised BIF is very thick thanks to the 100m length of our Zone of Interest, we now have more data to support the theory that its even thicker.
After all, both Hole DITDD004 and Hole X077 ended in mineralised BIF– in other words, where things were still very interesting. This could extend even further, and we already have interesting visual indicators about how far things could go. We’ll be publishing more on this in the future.
Cross-section viewed west, showing Hole DITDD004 and Hole DITDD003, drilled by Kavango, and Hole X077, drilled by the Third Party. Zones of interpreted mineralised BIF are shown in red hatch at the end of Hole DITDD004 and Hole X077, indicating a broader mineralised BIF system extending for at least 470m between holes.
We will now complete more thorough analysis of core from Hole X077 to build on our initial findings and potentially uncover new ones. We’ll also be taking a good look at core from another hole drilled by the third part in the vicinity – one of which we were unaware until arriving for the core review for the BGI. This is another intriguing lead and we look forward to providing an update on what we uncover.
The key point is that the pace at which Ditau has developed into – and is continuing to develop into – an extremely exciting play is striking.
Really, it sums up just how quickly things can change in the exploration space and – quite frankly – how a sprinkle of fortune can sometimes be the driver. After all, Kavango is now enjoying the full benefits of exploration data taken from a hole driven straight into our primary target zone without incurring any of the costs of drilling.
To finish, I’d like to thank wholeheartedly the Botswana Geological Institute for its support, and I am looking forward to sharing more information when we have it.