Nzuri Copper’s (ASX: NZC) board has approved a A$4 million exploration budget for its Kalongwe copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The budget allocation will cover about 7,250m of reverse circulation drilling throughout the remainder of 2018.
“This is an exciting time for Nzuri as the new field season in the DRC gears up and drilling gets underway across a range of prospects,” Nzuri chief executive officer Mark Arnesen said.
Initial drilling will be testing the high-grade cobalt target which is 800m from the Kalongwe deposit.
“We are currently drill testing a newly-identified prospect with high cobalt grades from surface trenching just 800m from the Kalongwe open pit, in an area previously thought to have sterilised,” Mr Arnesen noted.
Earlier trenching unearthed 10m grading 1.28% cobalt and 6m grading 0.72% cobalt.
Other drill targets include the Monwezi two and Monwezi seven prospects where previous drilling revealed copper and cobalt mineralisation.
Mr Arnesen said the rigs will drill out the shallow copper mineralised zone at Monwezi two and explore the cobalt zone at Monwezi seven.
“At both locations, there is excellent potential to define additional satellite resources,” Mr Arnesen added.
Previous drilling at Monwezi two pulled out a 20.2m intersection grading 1.85% copper, with a 7.5m interval grading 2.39% copper.
Over at Monwezi seven, preliminary exploration struck 8.6m grading 0.17% cobalt, 8m grading 0.2% cobalt and 2m grading 0.23% cobalt. These cobalt results build on the previous trenching prgroam that returned up to 3.7% cobalt.
Once these targets have been drilled, the campaign will move to regional targets which have been identified as “high-potential”.
“We have a suite of promising regional targets including Kasandgasi, Kambundji, Mulonda Funda, Mamba and Mutwa – some, of which, have been identified or reinforced using the data generated by the extensive regional airborne radiometric survey flown towards the end of last year,” Mr Arnesen said.
In addition to copper and cobalt, zinc and lead anomalies have been discovered at Mulonda Funda and Mutwa.
Exploration across the project will also include trenching and mapping, with Mr Arnesen claiming regular news flow will be arising out of the campaign.
A feasibility study was published on Kalongwe last year which estimated a seven-year life producing 19,360tpa of copper and 1,507tpa of cobalt concentrate.
Key personnel and board appointments
To drive the campaign, Nzuri has appointed Tom Woolrych to implement and manage the program.
According to Nzuri, Mr Woolrych has more than 14 years’ experience as a geologist working across 13 jurisdictions including the Central African Copper Belt.
Additionally, Ean Alexander joined the company’s board as a non-executive director. Mr Alexander has more than 15 years’ experience in corporate finance and investment.
Shares in Nzuri had slipped more than 4% in early morning trade to A$0.34.