African Copper PLC
AIM : ACU

African Copper PLC

June 24, 2011 02:00 ET

African Copper Plc: Matsitama Minerals Licence Extensions and Exploration Update

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 24, 2011) - African Copper Plc ("ACU" or "the Company") (AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER), the AIM and Botswana listed copper producer and exploration company, announces that four prospecting licences held by its 100% owned Matsitama Minerals (Pty) Ltd ("Matsitama Minerals") subsidiary have been extended for a further two years by the Minister for Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Botswana. The four prospecting licenses, PL 14/2004, 15/2004, 16/2004 and 17/2004, total 1,988.6km² in extent and cover much of the highly prospective Matsitama Schist Belt in northeastern Botswana. Matsitama Minerals also holds title to two other prospecting licenses in the Matsitama Schist Belt, which collectively cover an area of 96.2km².

Matsitama Minerals was originally granted the prospecting licences in 2004. Between 2004 and 2009 the Company carried out extensive exploration work across all four licence areas creating a substantial geological knowledge base. Exploration activities recommenced in March 2010 when it was decided to re-examine the Matsitama Schist Belt from a totally new perspective. To this end, a number of world renowned earth scientists from a range of disciplines were brought into Botswana to assess and evaluate the existing datasets. The international panel applied the latest thinking and generated a number of new, highly prospective, hitherto unexplored targets.

A one year, fast-track exploration programme was drawn up in June 2010 and US$2.5 million was committed for spending over the upcoming 12 month period. Fieldwork commenced in the latter half of 2010 and the new exploration targets generated by the panel of international experts were rapidly determined to be highly prospective. It was additionally determined that detailed fieldwork spanning a number of years would be required to progress the new exploration targets so that detailed mineral resource assessments and economic studies, if warranted, could be carried out.

Exploration in the Matsitama Schist Belt is now focused on iron-oxide-copper-gold ("IOCG") mineralization. These deposits can be very large, capable of supporting mining operations for periods of 30 or more years. It has long been believed that the Matsitama Schist Belt may host IOCG mineralization but until recently, no conclusive proof had been found to confirm the existence of this type of deposit in the belt. Three highly prospective IOCG targets have now been identified by the Company: the Nakalakwana, Lepashe and Matsitama West targets. The Nakalakwana target also hosts a pre-tectonic, copper-rich protore of possible basaltic affinity. Resources for the protore have recently been estimated by the MSA Group using historical, unverified drillhole data. The resource estimate was completed in order to guide future exploration activities at Nakalakwana.

  • The Nakalakwana IOCG target is characterized by drill-verified, iron oxide-rich, copper and gold mineralization, numerous ancient artisanal copper and iron workings, a marked gravity high, pronounced soil geochemical (Cu, Au, Bi) anomalies, anomalous potassium and uranium-equivalent radiometrics and an aeromagnetic high.
  • The Matsitama West IOCG target is characterized by copper and gold mineralization in surface outcrops, ancient artisanal copper workings, anomalous soil geochemistry (Cu, Ni) and the presence of a north-south trending, late tectonic high strain zone believed to be related to copper mineralization in the area. Copper and gold-bearing grab samples were taken from two separate localities over areas measuring 200m × 75m and 175m × 75m, respectively (there are very few outcrops in the Matsitama Schist Belt).
  • The Lepashe IOCG target is characterized by copper and gold mineralization in surface outcrops, ancient artisanal copper workings, anomalous soil geochemistry (Cu, Ni), a circular gravity low (interpreted as a Palaeoproterozoic granite intrusive), the presence of a north-south trending, late tectonic high strain zone and an aeromagnetic high.

In addition, the Company is currently evaluating banded iron formation ("BIF") exposures in the Gamogae area for both iron and gold. The BIF can be traced over a distance of 13km. Very limited sampling has been completed to date.

The locality of the target areas is shown in a map available at:

http://www.africancopper.com/i/maps/2011-06-22_NR1.jpg

Selected exploration results obtained from the various targets over the past year are shown in Tables 1 to 5 below.

Table 1. Nakalakwana IOCG target.

Borehole ID1From (m)To (m)Interval (m)Cu (%)Au (g/t)
NTRC0272160880.120.23
Includes:95123280.210.69
9810240.620.90
9910450.462.42
1 Borehole drilled October 2010.

Table 2. Nakalakwana protore resource estimate.1

TargetCut-off (% Cu)Tonnage (Mt)Cu (%)Au (g/t)
Nakalakwana Hill0.318.80.520.06
0.033.70.390.05
1 The resource estimate is based on historical, unverified drillhole data. Consequently, Matsitama Minerals does not consider the estimate to be compliant with modern reporting codes but does consider the estimate to be a reasonable indication of the potential.

Table 3. Matsitama West IOCG target.

Grab sample (selection of better assays)1Cu (%)Au (g/t)Ag (g/t)
1.900.898.66
Gossanous quartz-chlorite schist0.333.711.26
1.740.956.34
Gossanous vein quartz3.020.505.79
1 Total of 28 samples taken; average Cu value = 1.22%; average Au value = 0.49g/t; average Ag value = 2.39g/t; samples taken across two areas measuring 200m × 75m and 175m × 75m, respectively, in extent.

Table 4. Lepashe IOCG target

Grab sample (all samples)1Cu (%)Au (g/t)Ag (g/t)
Amphibolite, quartz-haematite breccia2.140.053.47
Amphibolite1.820.051.07
Quartz-haematite breccia0.640.182.06
1 Total of three samples taken over an area measuring 25m × 25m in extent.

Table 5. Gamogae BIF target

Grab sample
(all samples)
1
Fe
(%, lowest value)
Fe
(%, highest value)
Fe
(%, average value)
BIF, Fe-rich quartzite10.441.026.6
1 Total of 35 samples taken over the northern and central portions of the BIF.

Note

The technical information in this announcement has been reviewed and approved by Warwick Bullen, M.Sc., Pr.Sci.Nat., Exploration Manager – Matsitama Minerals. Warwick Bullen is a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101, and a Competent Person for the purposes of SAMREC and JORC and the current Guidance Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies issued by the London Stock Exchange in June 2009.

Exploration data is acquired by Matsitama Minerals and its consultants under strict quality assurance and quality control protocols. Samples are prepared and assayed at ALS Chemex laboratory located near Johannesburg , South Africa. All gold assay values are accredited in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. All copper samples assaying at >0.2% Cu are re-assayed using the ALS Chemex Cu-OG62 method and these sample assays are similarly accredited. On-site quality control procedures follow industry standard protocols.

For further information please visit www.africancopper.com.

Notes to Editors:

African Copper Plc is an AIM and Botswana listed copper producer and exploration company, currently focused on Botswana. The Company's flagship project is the copper producing open pit Mowana Mine. ACU also operates the Thakadu copper mine. Both deposits are situated on the highly prospective Matsitama belt, located close to Botswana's second largest city, Francistown, in the north-eastern part of the country.

Contact Information

  • African Copper Plc
    Brad Kipp
    Chief Financial Officer
    +1 (416) 847 4866
    bradk@africancopper.com

    Tavistock Communications (PR and IR)
    Simon Hudson/Lydia Eades
    +44 (0) 20 7920 3150

    Matsitama Minerals (Pty) Ltd
    Warwick Bullen
    Exploration Manager
    + 267 7138 8590

    Canaccord Genuity (NOMAD and Broker)
    Andrew Chubb/Tarica Mpinga
    +44 (0) 20 7050 6500