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Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion

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During the WhyAfrica Road Trip in July and August 2022 we visited several copper projects in Botswana and Namibia. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica.

Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion

Southern Africa’s Copper deposits continue attracting more exploration outfits. WhyAfrica are following several promising copper and silver projects in Botswana and Namibia

By Leon Louw, owner and editor of WhyAfrica          

Having visited the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) in Botswana in July and August 2022 during the annual WhyAfrica Road Trip, I took note of three excellent projects, in various stages of development.

Early-stage exploration company Cobre’s initial drilling sent their share price skyrocketing on the Australian Stock Exchange in August 2022. Cobre owns 51% of Kalahari Metals Limited (KML), a private UK company that controls approximately 8,100 km2 of tenements within the KCB in Botswana.

Not far from the Cobre project site, Australian exploration outfit Sandfire Resources is developing the Motheo copper project. Motheo is scheduled to start full production early in 2023. The mine is in an advanced stage of development and the company recently announced further expansions.  Sandfire also holds tenements in Namibia and is set to become one of the major copper players in the Kalahari Belt of Botswana and Namibia.

Further north-east from Ghanzi and close to the village of Toteng in Ngamiland, one of the first movers and now the main player in the Kalahari, Khoemacau Copper Mining, has developed the impressive Khoemacau copper and silver mine in the most prospective area of the KCB. The mine is fully operational.

Exploration in Namibia (Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion)

Further west, Namibia’s copper deposits are looking interesting as well, with more exploration project coming on-line. Although Trigon Metals’ attempts to revive the historic Kombat Mine close to Otavi have been disappointing, there are other copper projects in Namibia that deserves some attention.

Projects like Thunder Gold’s Okohongo copper project in the Kaoko Belt and ASX listed Noronex’s Dorwit project in the Kalahari Copper Belt are still very early-stage exploration projects but has drawn attention and WhyAfrica will be following these projects very closely in 2023. (Remember if you are a WhyAfrica member you’ll get regular quarterly updates about new projects in Africa in 2023).

Namibia has become one of the most exciting mining destinations in Africa. Lauren Davidson, Economist at the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, told me in an exclusive interview for WhyAfrica that exploration expenditure by the Chamber’s members increased by 57% in 2021, and that excludes companies that are not members of the Namibian Chamber.

“This is a clear indication that exploration in Namibia is at an all-time high and sets a very promising outlook for further potential increases in mining output,” says Davidson. (Read the full interview with Davidson in the November issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine)

Thunder Gold enters into option agreement (Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion)

TSX listed Thunder Gold Corporation (formerly White Metal Resources Corp) announced earlier this month that it has acquired a 95% interest in the Okohongo Copper-Silver Property in Namibia. The company entered into an option amending agreement with Himba Metals, a privately held Namibian registered company to acquire the exploration right.

According to Wes Hanson, CEO of Thunder Gold, Himba has shared their strategic plan for Okohongo focused on establishing early cash-flow from the currently defined, near surface mineral resource that can fund future exploration within the existing license area.

“Himba’s interpretation of the available geological and remote sensing data for the license suggests excellent discovery potential to increase the overall copper resource outside the currently drill defined, sub-surface resource area,” says Hanson.

Of particular interest are a series of sub-parallel zones, equal in size to the defined resource area, which are isolated by long wavelength infrared tomography (LWIT) data.

At least four, sub-parallel lenses, believed to be folded strata, were isolated by the LWIT dataset, each of which returned a response that is stronger than that returned over the existing sub-surface resource.

None of the four targets identified have been tested by drilling and each represents a compelling target for resource expansion as LWIT highlights sub-surface chalcocite-bornite copper mineralisation.

Himba’s strategic plan envisions immediate infill drilling to upgrade the existing inferred mineral resource to the measured and indicated classification in advance of a pre-feasibility study evaluating the economic viability of the existing resource. This amended agreement positions Thunder Gold to participate in both the short- and long-term upside of the team and strategic plan Himba has put in motion to advance Okohongo,” says Hanson.

The Okohongo Project and deposit (Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion)

Situated within the Kaoko Belt and hosted by metasedimentary strata, the Okohongo Copper and Silver (Cu-Ag) deposit is considered analogous with the stratiform sediment-hosted Central African Copperbelt deposits of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Using a cut-off grade of 0.30% Cu and assuming 10% geological loss, the Inferred Mineral Resource is estimated to be 7.7 Million tonnes   (Mt) grading 1.55% Copper (Cu) and 26.77 grams per tonne (g/t) silver (Ag) with a calculated copper equivalent (CuEq) of 1.82% Cu.

The Okohongo deposit is interpreted to sit on the western limb of a shallow synclinal structure that outcrops to the west and east. TECT Geological Services has been appointed to undertake modelling of the basin architecture, remodel the current deposit, and generate targets for immediate testing.

“In collaboration with Dr Niel Pendock, TECT has confirmed a significant target of approximately 10km of potential bornite and chalcocite mineralisation along the eastern limb of the Okohongo syncline.

“The shallow occurrence of the copper deposit, maximum depth of 250 meters, allows for rapid and cost-effective drill confirmation, which another exploration outfit, Iron Bull, will be pursuing.

“Iron Bull will also pursue the development of a small-scale mining operation targeting an initial production throughput of 30,000 tonnes per month. The Okohongo Project shows excellent potential to expand the copper-silver resources along multiple fold limbs north and south of the current defined resource,” Hanson concludes.

Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion

Remember to register as a WhyAfrica member in 2023 and get regular updates about new projects in the mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, environmental, tourism and conservation sectors.     

WhyAfrica reports about, and publishes newsletters, magazines and research reports about natural resources and the primary sectors of African economies, and the infrastructure, equipment and engineering methods needed to extract and utilise these resources in an efficient, responsible, sustainable, ethic and environmentally friendly way, so that it will benefit the people of Africa.

Furthermore, WhyAfrica promotes Africa as an investment and travel destination, analyses the continent’s business environment and investment opportunities, and reports on how the political economy of African countries affects its development.         

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021.

The company will undertake its annual road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya in 2023. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The 2022 Southern Africa Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine was distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s 2022 Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

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Namibia/Botswana copper in high fashion)

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