Argonaut Resources NL (ASX: ARE) has kicked off field operations in preparation for commencement of drilling at the Nyungu coppercobalt deposit in North-western Zambia during July 2021.
The Nyungu copper-cobalt deposit is part of Argonaut’s 90% held Lumwana West project, located between Barrick Gold’s Lumwana mine and First Quantum Mineral’s Sentinel mine in Zambia.
CEO, Lindsay Owler, said the drilling programme is designed to expand the scale of the Nyungudeposit and to provide data for resource estimation and metallurgical testing purposes of the shallow copper-cobalt oxide of the deposit.
The 2021 Nyungu deposit drilling programme will have a dual-purpose: exploration drilling that aims to uncover significant new zones of copper and cobalt mineralisation, and infill drilling for Resource estimation purposes,” Mr Owler said.
“Argonaut has defined two exploration drilling targets that have the potential to materially increase the Resource-base at Nyungu.”
The Nyungu Central deposit is open along-strike to the north and south.
Argonaut plans to test these potential extensions to known mineralisation with a view to increasing tonnages for future Resource estimation. Nyungu South.
The Nyungu South deposit sits in a location where a copper soil anomaly and an IP geophysical anomaly (i.e. a zone that may contain disseminated sulphide minerals) are coincident. The IP anomaly continues to the northwards from the soil anomaly over a significant area. This extension to the IP anomaly is untested and will be drilled by Argonaut in 2021.
Resource Drilling Indicated JORC Resource Existing drilling by Argonaut at Nyungu Central and Nyungu South was conducted using a drill-traverse spacing of 200m. This drilling revealed excellent grade and geometry continuity between traverses at Nyungu Central but was too widely spaced to facilitate the conversion to Indicated Resource category.
The drilling of infill traverses spaced approximately 100m apart are expected to allow Argonaut to estimate the tonnage and grades at Nyungu to JORC Resource standards. Oxide-Zone Resource.
The earlier drilling by Argonaut at Nyungu targeted fresh copper sulphide mineralisation at depth via angled drilling. No early drill holes targeted near-surface oxide mineralisation. This has left a gap in the company’s understanding of the oxide zone and affected its ability to progress metallurgical testwork on potentially significant parcel of copper ore.
The 2021 drilling programme aims to address these matters by specially targeting drilling in interpreted near-surface oxide zones.
Results from this programme and metallurgical leach testwork that will follow will affect the economics of production in first five to 20 years.
The exploration drilling programme will initially involve 1,600m of diamond drilling targeting the extension to Nyungu Central and Nyungu South mentioned above.
The Resource drilling programme will involve 1,200m of diamond drilling initially targeting near-surface oxide material. This drilling will provide metallurgical sample for imminent testwork.
The 2021 drilling programme is budgeted to cost A$2 million and will be jointly managed by African Mining Consultants (AMC), Thomas Rogers and Argonaut Resources’ staff based in Adelaide, Australia. Thomas Rogers jointly received the prestigious Thayer Lindsley Award in 2015 from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) for the discovery of the Kamoa Copper Deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).