Completion of Exploration Review - Buffalo Project
10 July 2019
Bezant Resources Plc
("Bezant" or the "Company")
Completion of Exploration Review on Buffalo Cu-Au Project, Zambia
Bezant (AIM: BZT), the copper-gold exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that its geological survey team has completed an exploration review on the Buffalo project, a 398 hectares copper/ gold asset situated in the Central Zambian iron oxide copper-gold ("IOCG") belt, over which the Company holds a conditional option to acquire a 50 per cent. interest.
The exploration review has identified a zone of structural focus centred on a site of artisanal copper/gold mining activity within the Buffalo open pit. This supports the prospective nature of a mineralised structure traversing the project's licence area which is seemingly open at depth.
The Buffalo project is located within a major east-northeast/west-southwest structural corridor in the Central Zambian IOCG province. Approximately, 70 km to the southwest along the structural corridor lies the Jifumpa copper mine, currently operated by a Chinese enterprise, Ruida Investments Limited. Deposits in this province are generally hosted at a higher stratigraphic level within the same rock package as the world-class Zambian copper belt deposits. The IOCG province was previously subject to only limited exploration due to the focus on the long-established projects located on the copper belt. Nevertheless, such historic exploration resulted in the discovery of several significant copper deposits, including the Kalengwa mine (production estimate of 1.9 Mt @ 9.44% Cu, 50 g/t Ag) and the Kitumba (Mumbwa) deposit with a resource estimate of 87.6 Mt @ 1.17% Cu, including 29.8 Mt @ 2.13% Cu. In other global mining districts, major projects have been brought into development hosted within similar IOCG structures including BHP's giant Olympic Dam mine located in South Australia.
Bezant's exploration team is assessing the structural characteristics of the Buffalo project in order to determine the style and continuity of the mineralisation evident in the exposed mine pit.
The majority of Bezant's work was focused on the currently mined open pit zone where copper and gold mineralisation is being recovered by small scale, artisanal miners for direct sale to local processors. The northwest wall of the pit comprises semi-massive limestone/dolomite and conglomerate/breccia, while the southeast wall of the pit is formed of a complex series of banded siltstones and brecciated mudstones. At the Buffalo project site, the geological survey team identified visible copper oxide (malachite) mineralisation at surface across the open pit area (refer to photos 4 and 5 at: http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/0081F_1-2019-7-9.pdf) with no sulphides identified to date.
Many of the rocks in the pit are strongly sheared, altered and mineralised. Alteration/mineralisation comprises mainly silicification, hematisation (sometimes as specularite) and malachite enrichment, both disseminated and occurring within breccia matrix. Malachite is particularly noteworthy in a 3-4 m wide core zone of the 12-15 m wide shear. It was also noted within the matrix of a silicified mudstone breccia on the southeast side of the pit and in the sidewalls to the shear, mainly confined to fractures.
During the recent site visit, some further selective rock grab sampling was carried out within the mineralised shear for which assay results are currently awaited (refer to photos 4 to 6 at: http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/0081F_1-2019-7-9.pdf). A sample was also taken from a silicified outcrop broadly along the SW strike trend of the shear zone. As previously announced, a selective grab sample taken from the pit in November 2018 assayed at 3.17% Cu and 0.97 g/t Au.
Review of Historic Data
Review of the available historic data indicates some limited underground exploration development. Pitting, trenching and underground exploration in the 1920s by Rhodesian Congo Border Concession identified a zone grading at 6% Cu. Four holes were also drilled by Chartered Exploration Limited in the 1960s. It appears that such holes were drilled a little to the east of the current pit face. The best intercept reported was 28 m @ 1.07% Cu, including 6 m @ 1.87% Cu. A deeper hole beneath this cut several narrow copper-bearing intervals. A short vertical hole is also evident on an historic section with an assay interval of 7.9 m @ 14.32% Cu - this is presumed to have been drilled directly into the near-vertical mineralised and oxidised shear.
More recent exploration activity in the region by Avmin Ventures Limited since the year 2000 included soil sampling and the drilling of three holes to test soil geochemistry anomalies. One of these, hole BH-B/2, was sited to test the Buffalo target, although its exact location is not known and it was apparently drilled oblique to the target zone. No mineralisation was recorded. Another was drilled at the Buffalo West target (again the precise location is unclear).
Bezant's conclusions from its review of the historic data and extensive site visit, are that the steeply-dipping target shear zone is open at depth and also remains open to the southwest into the Buffalo hill. Continuity of the mineralised zone is currently being established by the survey team to determine the strike extent of the mineralised target zone across the licence area.
It is recommended that detailed geological mapping be carried out in the pit and the immediate surrounding area, supplemented by systematic chip/channel sampling. Although the shear zone at the top of the hill is weathered and copper is leached, it should be possible to map the continuation of the structure by trenching. Assuming positive results from this additional work, a follow-up drill programme may then be proposed.
Bezant's team now aims to consolidate and process the existing data against the exposed mining works present at Buffalo. The extent of the strike potential will be more fully assessed in terms of southwesterly extension and depth. One of the key elements of this further work will be to compare the data obtained from the site visit with the known characteristics of the IOCG mining operations in the region. The Company will provide an update once this planned work has been concluded.
Laurence Read, CEO of Bezant, commented:
"Our option over 50% of Buffalo offers entry into a promising copper-gold project with access to a range of existing data sets and with exposed mineralisation from artisanal mining activity. In addition to assessing the potential for extensions at depth and across the licence area, our key ongoing work will centre on the characteristics of Buffalo as an ore body. Whilst IOCG structures globally host major copper producers such as the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, the Zambian IOCG province has to date been under explored due to the existing production hub centred around the country's main historic copper belt."
For further information, please contact:
Bezant Resources plc
Chief Executive Officer
Strand Hanson Limited (Nomad)
James Harris / Matthew Chandler / James Bellman
Novum Securities Limited (Broker)
or visit http://www.bezantresources.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 3289 9923
Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 3494
Tel: +44 (0)20 7399 9400
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
Qualified Person's Statements
Geological information in this announcement relating to the licence area has been reviewed by Edward (Ed) Slowey, BSc, PGeo, a consultant to Bezant. Mr Slowey is a graduate geologist with more than 40 years relevant experience in mineral exploration and mining, a founder member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland and a qualified person under the AIM Rules. Mr Slowey has reviewed and approved the geological content of this announcement.
In accordance with the AIM Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies, June 2009 (the "Guidance Note"), Colin Bird, CEng, FIMMM, a South African and UK Certified Mine Manager and Executive Chairman of Bezant, with more than 40 years relevant experience, is the qualified person who has reviewed and approved the technical information contained herein.
Note to Editors:
IOCG Province Zambia
Numerous copper occurrences are known throughout central and western Zambia, mostly as a result of prospecting in the early to mid-1900s. Much of the early exploration effort in this region was focused on the search for Copperbelt-style sediment-hosted deposits, but instead resulted in the discovery of vein and breccia-type copper showings and deposits often associated with iron concentrations and, in some instances, gold. Numerous copper-gold and iron oxide occurrences are known in the district and are noted on the Geological and Mineral Occurrence Map of Zambia. These types of deposit have come to be known as iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits, with the best known example being the Olympic Dam mine site in Australia.
IOCG deposits comprise a broad range of mineralisation styles, grouped together chiefly because they contain hydrothermal magnetite and/or specular haematite as major accompaniments (>20% Fe oxides) to copper sulphides.
In April 2019, Bezant entered into an agreement with KPZ International Limited pursuant to which it was granted a conditional option to acquire a 50 per cent. interest in licence number 15164-HQ-SML in The Republic of Zambia which contains the Buffalo exploration project.
Under the terms of this agreement and as consideration for such 50 per cent. interest in the Buffalo project, Bezant is required to complete an initial assessment of the licence area at a cost of up to US$200,000 by 1 February 2020. Throughout this initial phase, Bezant retains the right, at its sole discretion, to cease expenditure on the initial assessment and withdraw from the option, whereupon all other obligations under the agreement would be terminated.
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