The Luanshya area, which will be 80%-owned by Castillo Copper, has been increased to 117.6 square kilometres after the vendor exercised an option to increase the tenure.
After an independent geologist recently confirmed that the Luanshya project is prospective for copper mineralisation, the increased project area provides more exposure to the Lower Roan Group footprint.
Within prolific copper area
This geology is known to host copper mineralisation similar to known deposits and operating mines within the region.
Castillo Copper’s managing director Simon Paull said: “With our independent geology consultant already very positive on the Luanshya project’s Lower Roan Group exposure, extending the size of the tenure materially enhances the exploration upside and potential scale.”
The overall acquisition terms for the Luanshya project area remain unchanged.
To the north of the project area, China Nonferrous Mining Corp (CNMC) has three operating mines just to the north that produced 5,806 tonnes of contained copper in concentrates in 2018.
At the end of 2018, CNMC’s proved and probable JORC (2012) reserves for its Luanshya mines was 52.3 million tonnes at 1.26% copper.
In addition, Moxico Resources Mimbula project, which has an inferred JORC (2012) resource of 61 million tonnes at 1.18% copper has confirmed Lower Roan Group structures in its tenure.
“A great benefit” to expand footprint
CCZ’s London-based director Ged Hall said, “Zambia’s Copperbelt potential is well known by our UK investors, hence, it is clearly a great benefit to expand the Luanshya project’s footprint.
“With the timing for CCZ’s dual listing in London drawing near, this is clearly an excellent development that enhances the overall exploration upside for our suite of Zambia assets.”
Given similar geology and presence of Lower Roan Group in peers with known deposits and operating mines, the enlarged project delivers material exploration upside and scale for copper mineralisation.
Three further reviews
After successful reviews of the Mkushi and Luanshya projects, the CCZ board is aiming to expedite completion of the remaining three geological reviews.
Paull added, “Moving forward, our immediate priorities are to complete the remaining geological reviews, then commence formulating exploration programs for the priority Mkushi and Luanshya projects.”
Within mining district
One of the attractions of the Luanshya project is that it is in a district where mining is the mainstay of economic activity and Luanshya town has all the amenities necessary to support large-scale mining operations.
Communication facilities are good, water is abundant, there is mining infrastructure that could be revived and utilised without the need start from ground zero and the road network connecting all Copperbelt towns is good.
The Zambian copper strategy is one component of a three-pillar strategy aimed at transforming Castillo Copper into a mid-tier copper producer with the other pillars centred on projects in NSW and Queensland.
In addition, Castillo Copper is progressing a dual listing on the standard board of the London Stock Exchange.