African Copper Plc
TSX : ACU
AIM : ACU

African Copper Plc

November 08, 2005 09:00 ET

African Copper Plc-Diamond Drill Results From the Dukwe Project

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 8, 2005) - African Copper Plc (TSX:ACU)(AIM:ACU)(BSE:African Copper)

- 12,000 metres of current 20,000 metre resource delineation program completed - program to complete by early 2006

- First phase of twin hole drilling aimed at validating historical Falconbridge data on sulphide resource - second phase designed to expand knowledge and provide updated resource figure

- 4.64% copper over 11.13 metres within a broader interval of 1.86% copper over 29.12 metres.

- Approximately 250 metres to the north, 1.90% copper over 33.48 metres at the hangingwall, and 1.61% copper over 10.19 metres at the footwall of the mineralized zone. The 73.94 metre mineralized package within this hole returned an average of 1.25% copper.

- A further 1.75 kilometres to the north showed 2.15% copper over 30.21 metres within a larger intersection of 1.06% copper over 66.77 metres.

- Metallurgical studies on both oxide and sulphide material underway with encouraging initial results - Company evaluating option of commencing with underground mining of sulphide and supergene material with concentrate production

African Copper Plc ("African Copper" or the "Company") announces the first assay results from its diamond drilling programme which is underway on the Dukwe project in Botswana. The 20,000 metre resource delineation programme commenced in August of this year with over 12,000 metres of diamond core drilling in 48 holes completed to date. It is expected that the drilling programme will be completed in late 2005 or early 2006.

Results of the Twin Hole Drilling

The results for the first four twinned drill holes are tabulated below. The drilling has confirmed the broad geology and styles of mineralization encountered in the historic drill holes. The grade of mineralization is expected to be variable given the nature of the semi-massive to disseminated mineralization within the Dukwe Shear cataclastite.

At the south end of the known mineralization, hole T1FB22 showed a higher-grade intercept of 4.64% copper over 11.13 metres within a broader interval of 1.86% copper over 29.12 metres. Approximately 250 metres to the north, hole T2FB24B intersected 1.90% copper over 33.48 metres at the hangingwall, and 1.61% copper over 10.19 metres at the footwall of the mineralized zone. The entire mineralized package within this hole returned 1.25% copper over 73.94 metres. Mineralization is known to extend a further 1.75 kilometres to the north, where hole T6FB40 returned similar intervals of 2.15% copper over 30.21 metres within a larger intersection of 1.06% copper over 66.77 metres. The deepest intersection is at about 275 metres below surface. The mineralization at Dukwe also contains anomalous levels of gold, silver, lead and zinc.

The first phase of the current campaign concentrated on a twin hole programme designed to validate the historical database from which Falconbridge estimated a sulphide copper resource. This historical database was used to complete underground mine designs and economic models for a proposed mining operation at Dukwe between1983 and 1990. The second phase of the current drilling programme has been designed to provide an estimate of the sulphide resources that are known to exist beneath the open pit oxide reserves. The entire delineation programme, including this twin hole phase, is managed by RSG Global Pty Ltd. an internationally recognized independent geological consulting firm.

Six drill holes were selected from the 23 historic drill holes that intersected copper sulphides. These six holes do not represent the best intersections, but were selected to represent the full range of geology, mineralization and copper concentrations that could be expected beneath the two kilometre extent of the proposed open pit. Six twin holes were drilled with one of these having a deflection drilled to provide a second twin intersection.

Three other intersections are awaiting assays, but African Copper is confident that the historic database will ultimately be used in conjunction with the current infill drilling results to estimate the sulphide resource base at the Dukwe Project. Following the receipt of these pending assays, RSG Global will statistically and geologically compare the twin hole programme prior to accepting the full database.

A table showing the composite assay intervals for the twinned holes is attached to this press release. A plan map showing the location of historical holes and these twin holes is available on the African Copper website at www.africancopper.com. Cross sections of the drill holes reported herein are also available on the website.

Dukwe Sulphide

The present reserves at Dukwe are comprised of oxide and supergene material and is defined as a Probable Reserve of 5.1 million tonnes grading 1.85% copper within an open pit outline. Beneath this pit outline, a further Inferred Resource of 13.0 million tonnes of sulphide material grading 3.85% copper (using 1.5% cut-off and 2 metre minimum mining width) exists. These estimates of resources are contained in a technical report entitled "Technical Report on the Dukwe Copper Project and Matsitama Prospecting Licences Botswana, Africa" dated May 5, 2005 prepared by ACA Howe International Limited and is filed on SEDAR (which is available on www.SEDAR.com or www.africancopper.com). The current 20,000 metre infill drilling programme is designed to increase the confidence of the estimate such that Measured and Indicated Resources can be defined prior to the completion of a feasibility study.

Table 1: Composited Assay Intervals for Twinned holes and historic Falconbridge results



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African Copper Twin Results Falconbridge Results
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Selected From To Cu% Length From To Cu% Length
Package (m) (m) (m) (m)
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T1FB22 FB22
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A 222.10 240.10 0.71 18.00 246.50 271.00 2.54 24.50
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Including
A1 222.10 230.41 1.20 8.31 246.50 258.50 5.00 12.00
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C 301.39 330.51 1.86 29.12 337.00 375.50 0.92 38.50
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Including
C1 301.39 312.52 4.64 11.13 337.00 342.00 4.02 5.00
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C2 Not Developed 354.00 358.00 1.18 4.00
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C3 Not Developed 366.00 368.00 1.05 2.00
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C4 Not Developed 371.00 373.00 1.57 2.00
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T2FB24B FB24
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A 229.32 303.26 1.25 73.94 251.00 312.00 0.30 61.00
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Including
A1 229.32 262.80 1.90 33.48 251.00 268.00 0.73 17.00
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A2 262.80 265.48 3.63 2.68 273.00 275.00 0.69 2.00
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A3 293.07 303.26 1.61 10.19 307.00 310.00 0.80 3.00
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T3FB36 FB36
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Assays pending
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T3FB36D1 FB36
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A 200.92 204.71 2.93 3.79 204.50 210.50 1.23 6.00
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B 209.00 255.00 0.59 46.00 220.00 259.00 0.58 39.00
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Including
B1 210.78 213.27 2.26 2.49 224.00 230.00 1.27 6.00
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B2 224.80 226.51 0.70 1.71 238.00 239.00 0.52 1.00
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B3 240.03 243.60 2.64 3.57 254.00 259.00 2.22 5.00
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B4 251.60 253.60 1.16 2.00 Not Sampled
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T4FB29 FB29
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Assays pending
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T5FB34D1 FB34
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Assays pending
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T6FB40 FB40
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A 182.40 249.17 1.06 66.77 176.50 243.00 1.50 66.50
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Including
A1 199.30 229.51 2.15 30.21 195.50 225.50 2.84 30.00
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Note: These intersections are not true widths since all holes are drilled to the northwest with collar inclinations of -58 degrees to -63 degrees into the mineralized zone that dips to the southeast at -80 degrees to -90 degrees. Samples of half core are cut and placed into sealed bags on the Dukwe site under the direct supervision of RSG Global Pty Ltd. These are transported weekly by commercial carrier to Johannesburg. All sample preparation and analyses are completed at ALS Chemex laboratories in Johannesburg (ISO 17025 accredited and independent of Afirican Copper and RSG Global). Copper assays are completed using standard preparation of crushing to 70% less than 2 mm followed by splitting and pulverizing to 85% less than 75 micron. Analyses are generally completed utilizing 27 element four-acid ICP-AES in addition to a four-acid ore-grade element digestion followed by ICP-AES. Any overlimit analyses are reanalyzed using an ore-grade four-acid digestion with AA or ICP-AES finish. QA/QC procedures included the submission by RSG Global of systematic duplicates, blanks and both low-grade and high-grade standard samples within the sample batches submitted to ALS Chemex. Control samples comprise 20% of all samples submitted. No referee analysis has yet occurred. The results of the RSG Global QA/QC programme for copper analyses have been reviewed by RSG Global Pty Ltd and Mr. Joseph Hamilton P.Geo., the "qualified person" as defined in Canada under NI 43-101. The Falconbridge intervals and assays have not been independently verified as no core from the 1980's drilling is available for resampling. As a result Falconbridge's historical drill logs and assay certificates were relied upon.

Engineering and Metallurgical Studies

African Copper has completed detailed engineering and costing studies on an open-pit heap-leach SX-EW production option for the Dukwe oxide reserves. The Company has deferred the construction decision pending the results of the current drill programme and completion of detailed engineering and costing studies on an underground mine - concentrator option. Metallurgical flotation studies on all types of mineralization are underway with a view to optimizing the concentrator flowsheet. Initial results from the flotation work are encouraging. African Copper is confident that a decision regarding production from the underground sulphides and open-pit oxides could be made in early 2006 once metallurgical, engineering, capital and operating costs and resource/reserve characteristics are known.

African Copper is a tri-listed (AIM, TSX, Botswana Stock Exchange) international exploration and mining company. Six drills are currently on-site completing a sulphide delineation programme, and a Bankable Feasibility Study on the open-pit portion of the deposit is on schedule for completion later this year. African Copper expects to commence construction of the Dukwe Project in early 2006. The Company's other interests are the 4,000 sq km Matsitama exploration concession adjacent to Dukwe, which contains two known copper deposits and numerous base metal exploration targets. African Copper has approximately 52 million shares outstanding.

Mr. Joseph Hamilton, P.Geo, and Chief Operating Officer of African Copper is a "qualified person" as defined in Canada by NI43-101. This press release has been prepared under Mr. Hamilton's supervision.

This document may contain or refer to forward looking information, including reserve and resource estimates, estimates of future production, exploration and mine development, unit costs, costs of capital projects and timing of commencement of operations and estimates of market conditions, and is based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward looking statement include, but are not limited to, failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update them or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.

Further information about our properties, to download a copy of our Annual Report, any technical report, our AIM prospectus or to access our Press Release Archive please visit.www.sedar.com or our website at www.africancopper.com.

The Toronto Stock Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • African Copper Plc
    David Jones / Joseph Hamilton
    +44 (0)20 7529 7500
    www.africancopper.com
    or
    Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
    John Harrison / James Black
    +44 (0)20 7776 1590
    or
    Parkgreen Communications
    Justine Howarth / Ana Ribeiro
    +44 (0)20 7493 3713