The Kibolwe Prospect is situated 160 km northwest of Lubumbashi in the northern portion of the 9689 square kilometre SEMHKAT licence area.
The Kibolwe mineralization is a sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposit which occurs within Neoproterozoic Katangan Supergroup rocks of the Central African Copperbelt. The dominant copper oxide mineral is malachite with minor amounts of cuprite and tenorite which occur mainly in argillaceous carbonates and the shale units.
Exploration undertaken during the 2006/7 field season at Kibolwe has identified further significant concentrations of secondary enriched copper oxides. A broad mineralized zone 200 - 400 metres in width which extends over a strike length of 1000 metres has been outlined.
A program comprising a total of 10,300 metres of reverse circulation percussion (“RCP”) drilling had been completed by October 2007 at Kibolwe Main. A total of 7487 samples have been submitted to ALS Chemex Analytical Laboratories in Johannesburg. Assay and results have been returned for 4597 samples and the remaining 2890 sample results are expected before the end of the first quarter of 2008. Subsequent to the Company’s previous Kibolwe announcements (see press releases June 2007 and November 2007) in which assay results from 40 RCP were released, Mwana advises that it has received assay results from an additional 20 infill RCP holes totalling 981 metres (AW15, C20, D18, D19, E15, G16, J8, O13, O14, O15, P13, P14, P15, P17, R14, R21, S15 and S16) which were drilled along 1000m of strike. All RCP holes that contained copper intercepts greater than 2% Cu developed over a sample width of 4m are listed in Table 1 below, and are indicated in the accompanying map. Borehole R14 intersected 11 % copper over a 2m width at 12m below the surface. These enriched zones are a characteristic of the Kibolwe style of mineralization. The mineralized zone is continually being extended as further borehole results are received. Overall mineralisation from the drilling campaign varies as follows: At 0.5% Cu cut-off, width of mineralisation ranges from 1-48m (down-hole width), and grade considered over widths equal to or greater than 2m ranges 0.5%-11.1%. The maximum value returned to date is 1m @ 28.3%Cu.
Digital Mining Services in Harare is currently preparing a resource estimate which should be completed in the second quarter of this year. Depending on the outcome of the mineral resource estimate, it will be immediately followed by the pre-feasibility study, with a decision whether to mine anticipated by the end of 2008.
Table 1. Kibolwe Project, Current sampling results for mineralized zones from the 2006-2007 RC drilling programme, (intersections in excess of 2% Cu over 4m).
Two diamond drill rigs have been secured to undertake a 5000m diamond drilling programme at the Kiamato copper-cobalt and the Mwombe copper-cobalt-nickel occurrence located to the north-east and north-west of Kibolwe.
At Kiamato a 700 metre long and 15 metre wide zone of prospective strata was mapped, trenched and sampled. Assay results received to date report cobalt values of up to 0.2% cobalt over 2 metres which equates to almost 2% copper.
Traces of copper, up to 0.5% have been reported from leached strata. The occurrence is open ended to the northeast and southwest.
Mapping, trenching and sampling at Mwombe has identified mineralized Mines
Sub-group strata over 600 metres strike length. Assay results from trench and pit sampling have yielded elevated Ni and Co values within the Mines strata in the area. Grades of 2% Ni and 0.38% Co (over 1 metre) have been reported.
Elevated gold, platinum and palladium values were also recorded; 1.1g/t Au, 1g/t Pt and 0.1g/t Pd.
The diamond drilling programme is scheduled to commence at the end of this quarter.
A total of 24,000 line kilometres of a planned 52,000 line kilometre high resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric survey (line spacing 100m at a 40m elevation) was completed last quarter. The programme is scheduled to start again in February. To date the survey has located additional blocks of previously unidentified Roan strata host to Katangan stratiform copper mineralization and identified several structural mineralization trap sites in the vicinity of Kibolwe and the surrounding licence areas.
A target generation and evaluation exercise based on the magnetic and radiometric survey, soil geochemistry and historical data will be undertaken during the coming quarter.
Kalaa Mpinga, CEO of Mwana Africa, commented, “The potential of the Katanga copper belt has been recognised for decades, and many prospects have already been explored. Our drilling results now provide substantial support for our belief that the Kibolwe licence area potentially contains a major new resource with the potential for highly profitable production. Our major airborne survey will furthermore enable us to prioritise existing targets as well as assist in identifying new targets for future exploration.”
Charl du Plessis, Executive Vice President Exploration of Mwana, who holds a PhD and is a Member of the AusIMM, is a “Qualified Person” as defined in the AIM Rules and in National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, and the information contained in this press release is based upon information prepared under the supervision of Dr. du Plessis.
Diagrams showing the SEMHKAT Licence and Project area, Kibolwe Project Reverse Circulation drillhole locality plan and the Airborne Geophysical Survey and Portion of the image of the magnetic survey can be found below.
Figure 1. SEMHKAT Licence and Project areas.
Oliver Baring, Executive Chairman
Tel: 020 7654 5588
Mwana Africa plc
Tom Randell / Anca Spiridon
Tel: 020 7653 6620
Mike Jones / Ryan Gaffney
Tel: 020 7050 6500
Mwana is the 100% beneficial owner of the 9689km2 SEMKHAT exploration licence in the copper belt area of the Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mwana’s significant land holdings in this area were selected for the high potential for discovery of base metals, and cover what is understood to be extensions to the world class mining properties on the Congo part of the Lufilian Arc, home to such major copper orebodies as Tenke, Fungurume, Kov, Kamoto, and lead/zinc orebodies such as Kipushi.
As required by the National Instrument 43-101, Mwana’s designated qualified personnel required for the supervision of exploration of the projects is Charl du Plessis. Drill method utilized to generate the samples was 4.5" diameter reverse circulation, using a face sampling hammer bit. Collar positions were located using a differential GPS. Samples were collected into plastic bags via a cyclone on 1m intervals and split through a riffle splitter. The resultant 1m sample weighing 4kg was placed in a plastic bag. The 4kg sample was split again and a 2kg sample was dried and crushed in a ring mill. Duplicates, standard reference samples and blanks were inserted in the sample sequence at a rate of 1 in 50. Samples were dispatched directly to ALS Chemex at Edenvale, Johannesburg South Africa by air freight. All samples were dried, crushed and pulverised to achieve 90% passing -75microns. The pulp was collected from the pulveriser bowl by a ceramic sample scoop, and the balance of the pulp stored for re-assay, if required. Samples were assayed by four acid digest and method ME-ICP61 up to 10000ppmCu; above this level samples were re-assayed by Cu-OG62, a more accurate ore grade determination. Intercepts were calculated as an arithmetic average.
Intervals represent down hole intercepts, although tables present the true thickness of the intercept. Lower cut off grades accepted for the intercepts were 0.5%Cu with up to 2m permissible as internal waste.
For further information concerning the Kibolwe prospect, please refer to the technical report dated July 11, 2007 and entitled "Technical Report - An Independent Technical Report on Bindura Nickel Corporation, Freda Rebecca Gold Mine and Semkhat (Anmercosa Exploration Congo SPRL), the Material Assets of Mwana Africa PLC" which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Words such as “anticipates”, “expects”, “intends”, “plans”, “forecasts”, “projects”, “budgets”, “believes”, “seeks”, “estimates”, “could”, “might”, “should”, and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Although Mwana believes that the plans, intentions and expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, Mwana cannot be certain that these plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These statements may include comments regarding: the establishment and estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources, production, production commencement dates, production costs, grade, processing capacity, potential mine life, feasibility studies, development costs, capital and operating expenditures, and exploration. Factors that would cause actual results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things, changes in commodity prices, changes in equity markets, failure to establish estimated mineral resources, political risks, changes to regulations affecting the Company’s activities, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required regulatory approvals, failure of equipment, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, delays in obtaining geological results, and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration industry. Any forward-looking statement only speaks as of the date on which it was made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Mwana disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Mwana believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, however, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.