Discovery Metals Limited, the Botswana-Australian-London listed company, has said its inferred resources near Maun has jumped up by 46 percent making the project one of the prospectively richest copper mines in the country.
In a statement released on Monday, Discovery Metals said the new inferred resource at PlutusÔÇöone of the prospecting sites ÔÇôis at 14.5 million tones at 1.3 percent copper which is higher than the cut off of 0.6 percent.
The move brings the total resource at the Maun project to 46.1 million tones which is an increase of 46 percent.
Jeremy Read, Discovery Metals Limited’s Managing Director, said the ongoing drilling on the Maun Project was proving to be very successful with three inferred mineral resources defined from five prospects drilled during 2007.
“Drilling is yielding a high conversion rate of prospects drilled to inferred mineral resource status which is highly encouraging,” he said. “Plutus is a shallow deposit and we would expect that a significant portion of the identified resource could be mined in an open pit,” Read said.
He added: ”The Zeta prospect pre-feasibility study is already underway; our regional exploration programme is being ramped up and, with the significant growth in our resource, we are looking forward to an exciting 2008.”
Discovery Metals, the Perth mining outfit whose successful exploration in southern Africa pushed it up to the status of becoming a mid-tier base metal mining company, is embolden by its finds 80 kilometers north west of MaunÔÇö and Dikoloti ÔÇô near Tobane in the Bobirwa area.
In 2005, the company’s portfolio was significantly bolstered by the Maun Copper Project which lies in NW Botswana. The project is comprised of seven prospecting licences covering an area the size of 6333 km2 within the Kalahari Copper Belt.
The move came at a time of mineral super-cycle, which is largely powered by the booming Chinese economy that has left a big gap in terms of demand and supply of the base metals which are key to its industrialization.
This move was also fueled by analysts from Standard BankÔÇöa South African- Chinese owned banking companyÔÇöwhich pointed out in August this year that there might be a global nickel deficit triggered by disruptions in other parts of the world.
The Kalahari Copper Belt ÔÇô which is near Maun ÔÇöis an extension of the Zambia Copper Belt which stretches into some parts of Botswana going as far as into the Ghanzi area. The area was previously prospected by other mining and prospecting mining outfits such as Anglo-Vaal and US Steel International who were looking for giant mining operations exceeding 200 million tones of medium and low grades.
However, at the time it turned out that the deposits could not sustain the operation of that size ÔÇô due to technology that was used then ÔÇô and that the area’s infrastructural development was seen wanting.
Discovery Metals has said that it is looking at the prospects of an open pit mine in the areas which will later extend into an underground mine as the finds area is greater than originally thought. It also stated that the current infrastructural development is of higher standard and the area is easily accessible to neighbouring countries.