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Down-hole uranium drilling in Zambia returns positive results

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Canadian exploration company GoviEx has deployed drilling rigs in Zambia, Mali and Niger. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Down-hole uranium drilling in Zambia returns positive results   

Drilling at Canadian based exploration and development company GoviEx’s uranium project in Zambia have returned positive results. The company is also drilling out the Madaouela uranium project in Niger and work at its Falea uranium, silver and copper deposit in Mali is ongoing.  

Mutanga is located in the Southern Province of Zambia, about 200km south of Lusaka, close to the village of Siavonga. It consists of five main deposits: Mutanga, Dibwe, Dibwe East, Njame, and Gwabe. These deposits make up the bulk of the project’s Mineral Resources.

GoviEx acquired 100% of the Mutanga Project from Denison Mines in 2016.  The project included the Mutanga, Dibwe, and Dibwe East deposits. In 2017, GoviEx acquired 100% of the Njame and Gwabe deposits from African Energy Resource.

The Mutanga Project is currently comprised of three mining licenses encompassing 720km2. The host to the mineralisation at Mutanga is part of the Carboniferous to Triassic Karoo Super Group, a thick terrestrial strata that occurs extensively in southern Africa and hosts a number of uranium deposits.

At the Mutanga project the Escarpment Grit formation (the braided and the meandering facies) host the known deposits. The mineralogy is mostly secondary uranium minerals occurring as meta-autunite along fractures, coating of mud clasts and disseminated through the sandstone. There is a primary uranium mineralisation consisting of Uraninite and Coffinite.

Good progress with infill drilling campaign

According to Daniel Major, CEO of GoviEx, the company has made good progress with its Mutanga infill drilling campaign, which commenced in May 2022.

“The campaign is focused on upgrading the inferred mineral resources associated with the Dibwe East deposit to indicated mineral resources for inclusion into a planned feasibility study,” says Major.

The down-hole percussion drilling conducted at the end of June 2022 is approximately 40% complete, with 6,220 m drilled out of a planned 15,500 m, and the diamond drilling is just over 10% complete with 936 m drilled out of a planned 9,000 m.

According to an announcement by the company last week the mineralisation remains consistent from hole to hole, but with additional mineralisation on the sections drilled so far this year, having thicknesses of up to 25m, and extending deeper and more laterally than prior drilling to a depth of 200m.

Average grades are still comparable to previously drilled holes. The Dibwe East deposit currently contains 43.1 million tonnes (Mt) of uranium mineralisation at an average grade of 304ppm U3O8 for 28.9Mlb U3O8 and represents approximately 45% of the total resource tonnage at Mutanga.

“Our ambitious drilling programme is aimed at upgrading the inferred mineral resources associated with the Dibwe East deposit and we have had very positive initial results so far. This follows from last year’s successful infill drilling campaign,” says Major.

According to Govind Friedland, Executive Chairman of GoviEx, the uranium market continues to be an exciting investment proposition. “Strong fundamentals coupled with the need for security of supply, a raging energy crisis, the push for decarbonisation and investment in clean energy; GoviEx is well positioned to potentially benefit from the expected strong market environment,” says Major.

As part of it Southern Africa Overland Road Trip WhyAfrica will visit Zambia next week.

The WhyAfrica Southern Africa Overland Road Trip will take us through five countries in 44 days. During this time, we will drive more than 9700km on the good roads, the bad roads, dirt roads and tarred roads, to visit close to 30 projects in the mining, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, tourism, conservation, and development sectors.

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management