The Republic of Katanga Mining Projects

A wide-ranging grassroots exploration program for new major copper deposits is available in the Republic of the Katanga.

Kibamba Prospect, Republic of Katanga

On March 27, 2006, a new discovery at its Kibamba copper prospect in the Republic of Katanga. A total of the 25 reverse circulation drill holes totalling 2,430 meters and 9 diamond drill holes totalling 1,863 meters were drilled between October and December 2005. Highlights from the 25 hole drill program included 80 meters grading 2.20% copper and 0.25% cobalt.

KOLWEZI

The proposed US$300 million Kolwezi Tailings project in The Republic of Katanga has been a long time in gestation and at times it has seemed that it might never get off the ground. But the project – which could transform the decaying Kolwezi area in the Republic of Katanga and also provide encouragement to other potential investors – has gained considerable momentum.

The main impediment to the Kolwezi project has never been the quality of the resource, which is generally regarded in mining circles as having the potential to support a longlife, low-cost cobalt and copper operation.

Kolwezi would be viable at prices well below those now being seen in the marketplace.
The resource which underpins the project consists of stockpiled flotation tailings, which were produced by the mineral concentra-
tor in Kolwezi (the historic mining centre of the Katangan portion of the Central African Copperbelt) which processed high-grade ore
from the KOV and other mines in the vicinity from the early 1950s onwards. Due to the poor recoveries obtained from the conventional
concentrating techniques used, valuable amounts of copper and cobalt were discharged into two tailings dams known as Kingamyambo and Musonoi. The two dams contain 112,8 Mt of oxide tailings grading a remarkable 1,49 % copper and 0,32 % cobalt, as estimated by Dr Isobel Clark of Geostokos.

Musonoi is by far the bigger resource with 70 Mt of material but is difficult to mine in the wet season.

Musonoi, because of the wet season problems, would be active for only nine months of the year once it does kick in.
The slurry created will be sent to a processing plant incorporating leaching and SX/EW facilities which will produce LME grade
copper cathode and high purity cobalt metal. The project is expected to produce initially 5 500 tonnes of cobalt and 30 000 tonnes of copper annually, at which level of output it has a mine life in excess of 50 years. The metallurgical process is complex and untested at full-scale level but all the sub-systems use proven technology. In addition, the process route has been tested extensively at pilot plant level.

The tailings wall at Kingamyambo

Kolwezi could produce at a much higher rate, but this could impact on the cobalt market. The trick really is to strike a balance – on the one hand, we need a big enough operation to give us economies of scale, but on the other hand we don’t want to destabilise the cobalt market, which is known for its volatility. Annual demand is roughly 50 000 tonnes, so even at a production of 5 500 tonnes Kolwezi is going to be a very significant player in the market.”

In terms of infrastructure, the town of Kolwezi is reasonably well served. Along with Lubumbashi and Likasi, it is one of the major centres in Katanga, with both road and rail links (although the road needs upgrading) to Lubumbashi (and hence to Zambia and South Africa) and plentiful power in the form of hydro schemes.

 

Southern Shaba

- Kabolela: black, shining reniform masses of heterogenite.

- Kakanda: mammillary pseudomalachite, green crystals of libethenite and pink cobaltiferous calcite.

- Kalongwe: copper and uranium deposits offering fine examples of associations of cuprosklodowskite in needles and dark green vandenbrandeite in etcher's prisms.

- Kambove: fibroradiated plancheite in crusts and rosettes and centimetric crystals of carrollite.

- Kamiaba: deposit of pink to brown almandin garnets forming crystalline crusts.

- Kamoto: type locality of kolwezite, double carbonate of copper and cobalt in beige to black nodules. Very rare prismatic and tabular crystals of sea green roubaultite occur in the K.O.V. quarry. The oriental part of this deposit contains an uraniferous mineralization where the new minerals astrocyanite-(Ce), françoisite-(Nd), kamotoite-(Y) and shabaite-(Nd) were discovered, containing also rare earths minerals.

- Kamoya: association of copper silicates, plancheite, shattukite and light-blue masses of ''katangite'' with conchoidal fracture.

- Kasompi: another deposit of rare-earths minerals such as schuilingite-(Nd) and gyisinite-(Nd). We also find arborescent pale-green lodes of glaukosphaerite.

- Kipushi: exceptional association of secondary minerals of zinc, lead and copper, such as smithsonite, hemimorphite, aurichalcite,veszelyite ( bright-blue octahedrons ) and emerald green kipushite. The primary mineralization is rich in germanium with renierite and briartite. Green sphalerite and rhenium molybdenite are also found, as well as gallite. The paragenesis is very close to that of Tsumeb in Namibia.

- Likasi: beside cuprite accompanied by native copper, we find here a fine example of the association of buttgenbachite and connellite in bright-blue acicular prisms, of likasite in blue stacked plates and of sea green gerhardtite.

- Ludjiba: type locality of ludjibaite, a polymorph of pseudomalachite.

- Luishya: kyanite in blue tablets is associated with classical secondary minerals of copper.

- Luiswishi: mineralization with copper and uranium, with, namely, cuprosklodowskite in fibres, vandenbrandeite in crystals in burins and sengierite.

- Mashamba: exceptional red gem cuprite in centimetric crystals, but also testaceous malachite, duhamelite in yellow fibres and an uraniferous association of tyuyamunite and carnotite.

- Mindigi: cobaltiferous deposit of mammillary heterogenite and crystalline varieties with metallic lustre among which the polytype 2H.

- Msesa: shining crystals of green libethenite, crystallized pseudomalachite and light-blue claringbullite of which this is the type locality.

- Musonoi: locality especially famous for its uranium selenites: demesmaekerite, derriksite, guilleminite and marthozite. Also renowned for its cobaltiferous malachites and kolwezite.

- Shamitumba: collecting site of the julienite in blue needles.

- Shangulowe: fine examples of associations of copper silicates ( plancheite-shattuckite ) and presence of barite pseudomorphosed in plancheite and in malachite.

- Shinkolobwe: one of the most famous uranium deposits in the world. It has furnished, namely, the raw material with which the first atomic bombs were made. Tens of new species were discovered here. The mine has been closed in the beginning of the 1960s.

- Star mine ( Lubumbashi ): cornetite in blue rosettes.

- Swambo: prospecting site for uranium rich in yellow squat crystals of soddyite and type locality of swamboite.

- Tantara: site of the very spectacular association of green dioptase and bright-pink cobaltiferous calcite.

MINERALS DESCRIBED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN KATANGA

ASTROCYANITE-(Ce) Deliens and Piret , 1990 Kamoto East , Shaba
BECQUERELITE Schoep , 1922 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
BIJVOETITE-(Y) Deliens and Piret , 1982 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
BILLIETITE Vaes , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
BRIARTITE Francotte et al , 1965 Kipushi , Shaba
BUTTGENBACHITE Schoep , 1925 Likasi , Shaba
CATTIERITE Kerr , 1945 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
CLARINGBULLITE Fejer et al , 1977 Kambove , Shaba
COMBLAINITE Piret and Deliens , 1980 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
CORNETITE Buttgenbach , 1917 Star Mine ,Shaba
CUPROSKLODOWSKITE Vaes , 1933 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
CURITE Schoep , 1921 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
DEMESMAEKERITE Cesbron et al , 1965 Musonoi , Shaba
DERRIKSITE Cesbron et al , 1971 Musonoi , Shaba
DEWINDTITE Schoep , 1922 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
DUMONTITE Schoep , 1924 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
FOURMARIERITE Buttgenbach , 1924 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
FRANCOISITE-(Nd) Piret et al , 1988 Kamoto East , Shaba
GUILLEMINITE Pierrot et al , 1965 Musonoi , Shaba
GYSINITE-(Nd) Sarp and Bertrand , 1985 Kasompi , Shaba
HETEROGENITE-2H Deliens and Goethals , 1973 Mindigi , Shaba
IANTHINITE Schoep , 1926 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
JULIENITE Schoep , 1928 Shamitumba , Shaba
KAMOTOITE-(Y) Deliens and Piret , 1986 Kamoto East , Shaba
KASOLITE Schoep , 1921 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
KIPUSHITE Piret et al , 1985 Kipushi , Shaba
KOLWEZITE Deliens and Piret , 1980 Kolwezi , Shaba
LEPERSONNITE-(Gd) Deliens and Piret , 1982 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
LIKASITE Schoep et al , 1955 Likasi , Shaba
LUDJIBAITE Piret and Deliens , 1988 Ludjiba , Shaba
MARTHOZITE Cesbron et al , 1969 Musonoi , Shaba
MASUYITE Vaes , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
METASALEEITE Mrose , 1950 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
METASTUDTITE Deliens and Piret , 1983 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
OOSTERBOSCHITE Johan et al , 1970 Musonoi , Shaba
OURSINITE Deliens and Piret , 1983 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
PARASCHOEPITE Schoep and Stradiot , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
PARSONSITE Schoep , 1923 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
PIRETITE Vochten et al , 1997 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
RENIERITE Vaes , 1948 Kipushi , Shaba
RICHETITE Vaes , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
ROUBAULTITE Cesbron et al , 1970 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SALEEITE Thoreau and Vaes , 1932 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SAYRITE Piret and Deliens , 1983 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SCHOEPITE Walker , 1923 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SCHUILINGITE-(Nd) Vaes , 1947 Kasompi , Shaba
SEELITE Bariand et al , 1993 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SENGIERITE Vaes and Kerr , 1949 Musonoi , Shaba
SHABAITE-(Nd) Deliens and Piret , 1989 Kamoto East , Shaba
SHARPITE Mélon , 1935 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SKLODOWSKITE Schoep , 1924 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SODDYITE Schoep , 1922 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
STUDTITE Vaes , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
SWAMBOITE Deliens and Piret , 1981 Swambo , Shaba
THOREAULITE Buttgenbach , 1933 Manono , Shaba
URANCALCARITE Deliens and Piret , 1984 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
VAESITE Kerr , 1943 Kasompi , Shaba
VANDENBRANDEITE Schoep , 1932 Kalongwe , Shaba
VANDENDRIESSCHEITE Vaes , 1947 Shinkolobwe , Shaba
WYARTITE Guillemin and Protas , 1959 Shinkolobwe , Shaba

Tenke Fungurume Mining Project

The Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt deposits comprise one of the world's largest, richest known copper-cobalt resources and are in the process of being developed into a large scale, long-life mine demonstrating low operating costs. The Tenke Fungurume mineral concessions still remain extensively under-explored.

The deposits are located within multiple adjoining concessions totalling in excess of 1,500 square kilometres in Katanga at approximately latitude 10°S and longitude 26°E. Tenke Fungurume is about 175 kilometres northwest of Lubumbashi, the Republic of Katanga capital and administrative centre, and  largest city of the country.

Click on a percentage in the above legend to enlarge or reduce this picture

TENKE FUNGURUME RESOURCE ESTIMATES

  K-Tonnes TCu % ACu % TCo % ACo %
Table 1.1 Measured Resources
Oxide 58,551 3.57 3.34 0.34 0.29
Mixed 64,658 3.27 1.84 0.33 0.21
Sulphide 3,107 4.37 0.48 0.36 0.12
Total 126,316 3.44 2.50 0.33 0.24
Table 1.2 Indicated Resources
Oxide 33,714 2.69 2.45 0.33 0.26
Mixed 74,137 2.42 1.56 0.26 0.17
Sulphide 937 3.75 0.39 0.43 0.12
Total 108,788 2.52 1.82 0.28 0.20
Table 1.3 Measured + Indicated Resources
Oxide 92,266 3.25 3.01 0.34 0.28
Mixed 138,794 2.82 1.69 0.29 0.19
Sulphide 4,044 4.22 0.46 0.37 0.12
Total 235,104 3.01 2.19 0.31 0.22
Table 1.4 Inferred Resources
Oxide 70,152 2.75 2.45 0.20 0.14
Mixed 176,043 2.61 1.61 0.20 0.14
Sulphide 17,557 1.82 0.16 0.13 0.02
Total 263,752 2.60 1.73 0.19 0.13
 
TCu - Total copper grade
ACu - Acid soluble copper grade
TCo - Total cobalt grade
ACo - Acid soluble cobalt grade

Current Development Plans

The Feasibility Study has been completed for the first phase of production at the Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in Katanga. The target for first copper cathode production is the second half of 2008.

The Feasibility Study is based on standard African Copper Belt process technology with optimization from Phelps Dodge as one of the world leaders in solution extraction and electrowinning operations. Overall metal recoveries are expected to be 95% for copper and 83% for cobalt metal. Mill facilities are expected to process approximately 7,000 metric tpd of ore.

Facilities have been designed to initially produce approximately 115,000 metric tonnes per annum ("tpa") of London Grade A quality copper cathode and 8,000 tpa of cobalt in any combination of cobalt metal or intermediate cobalt hydroxide. Site infrastructure and process facility layouts have been designed contemplating significant future potential expansions.

There are extensive resources on the concessions that are not included in current mine plans as well as many untested target zones. Mixed and sulphide mineralisation is known to extend over 500 metres below surface in the areas tested to date. Mineralization in the area is known to have a strike length of up to 80 kilometres.

The 40-year mine plan is based on first developing the Kwatebala, Fwaulu and Goma deposits. Proven/probable ore reserves developed by Phelps Dodge to U.S. SEC standards1 for these three areas are 103 million metric tonnes, grading 2.1% copper and 0.3% cobalt (proven 22 million tonnes grading 2.2% copper and 0.30% cobalt, probable 81 million tonnes grading 2.1% copper and 0.31% cobalt). The Feasibility Study is based on approximately 19 years of fresh ore processing followed by 21 years of lower-grade stockpile feed. During the first 10 years, 25.5 million tonnes of leachable oxide ore is processed grading 4.57% copper and 0.37% cobalt. The overall strip ratio is 3.1:1. Drilling continues across the concession, and it is our belief that the mine plan will evolve significantly as additional material is expected to be brought into the proven/probable category.

The mining method will be open pit, utilizing conventional methods in waste and a continuous miner in ore to maximize operating efficiencies and to minimize dilution of the high-grade material. Haulage will be by articulated 45-tonne trucks.

Exploration potential across the Tenke Fungurume concessions is extensive, and a significant drilling program is in progress to potentially add proven/probable, high-grade ore reserves to the mine plan and for a potential major plant expansion in the early years of the project.

During 2006, approximately 16,000 meters of drilling was performed under the direction of Phelps Dodge for infilling, reserve confirmation, step-out exploration and condemnation. During the 2006 drilling program, mineralization in three new areas just west of Kwatebala was discovered (Mwinansefu, Ditoma and Shinkusu). Concession exploration for 2007, which includes further resource definition drilling at these new areas, is budgeted to accomplish approximately 45,000 meters of drilling. The intent is to have significant additional proven/probable ore reserves defined by the time the initial facilities go into operation to support potential expansions in the early years of initial operations.

Southern Katanga Mining Project

Geological Setting

All of South Katanga projects are located within the Central African Copper Belt which represents one of the world’s largest known Cu-Co metallogenic provinces and contains some of the worlds richest Copper/Cobalt mines. Nearly all the economically important deposits occur as stratiform orebodies within the Mine Series of the Roan Sequence. Roan sediments were brecciated and brought to surface along several sub-parallel arcuate thrust structures during the Lufilian Orogenic period.
 
Uranium-Nickel-Gold-and Platinum Group metals are commonly associated with the Cu-Co mineralisation. The Shinkolobwe deposit hosted in Mines Group sediments was the world’s largest uranium producer.

 


Dikulushi Mine

Ownership

Central Bank of Katanga 100% 

Location

25 km west of Lake Mweru in the Republic of Katanga

First production

October 2002

Employment

678 permanent and contract workers

Dikulushi Mineral Reserves and Resources table

Classification

Tonnes

Total Copper Grade (%)

Copper Metal

Silver (g/t)

Silver metal (Moz)

Proved (ROM)

481,000

6.0

28,800

180

2.8

Measured

133,000

6.1

8,200

165

0.7

Indicated

650,000

7.9

51,100

184

3.8

Total Meas/ and Ind.

783,000

7.6

 

 

4.5

Inferred

1,070,000

6.8

72,900

169

5.8

Measured (stockpile)

704,000

1.1

7,600

25

0.6

Geology

The Dikulushi copper-silver deposit is a hydrothermal vein, hosted by an alternating sequence of sandstones and shales of the Mongwe Formation, which is stratigraphically above the major deposits of the Central African Copperbelt. The main vein is orientated ENE and dips to the south at about 70º. Disseminated mineralization occurs in the hanging wall of the main vein, associated with a fracture zone that parallels a major NE-trending fault, the Tambe Fault, which is believed to have been the main feeder zone for mineralizing fluids. The deposit is situated on the northeastern nose of a regional doubly plunging anticline, where this fault intersects the contact between the Mongwe Formation and an underlying carbonate unit (the Kiaka Formation); this intersection is considered to be a key control on the location of ore. Copper mineralisation is primarily massive and disseminated chalcocite (in which silver occurs in solid solution), but bornite, minor chalcopyrite and native copper also occur. Zinc and lead, as sphalerite and galena, are minor components of ore at the western end of the deposit.

Several copper occurrences have been discovered in the Dikulushi area (Kibili Mensi, Kaswete, Kasumbula), a few of which have been worked by artisanal miners.


Kulu Mine
Ownership Central Bank of Katanga 100%
Location 10km east of Kolwezi in the Republic of Katanga 
First production October 2005
Employment 412 permanent and contract workers

 

Kulu Mineral Resource Estimates
Classification Tonnes Total Copper Grade (%) Copper Metal (Tonnes) Cobalt Grade (%) Cobalt Metal (Tonnes)
Measured (Coarse Tailings) 611,000 7.2 44,000 0.15 1,000
Indicated (Coarse Tailings) 3,423,000 3.7 126,700 0.14 4,800
Total Measured and Indicated 4,034,000 4.2 170,700 0.14 5,800
Inferred (Coarse Tailings) 286,000 6.5 18,500 0.13 400
Total Indicated (Fine Tailings) 4,944,000 0.9 44,000 0.09 4,400

 


Kinsevere Mine
Ownership Central Bank of Katanga 100%
Location 30km north west of Lubumbashi, Capital City of the Republic of Katanga
First production Due July 2007
Employment 529 permanent and contract workers

Kinsevere Mineral Resource Estimates April, 2007

Deposit and Classification Resource (tonnes) Grade(% Cu) Contained metal (tonnes of copper)
Measured Resource
Kinsevere Hill - - -
Tshifufia 6,010,000 4.4 266,700
Tshifufiamashi - - -
Indicated Resource
Kinsevere Hill 880,000 2.6 22,800
Tshifufia 10,950,000 4.4 485,500
Tshifufiamashi 2,250,000 4.0 90,300
Total Measured and Indicated Resource 20,090,000 4.3 865,300
Inferred Resource
Kinsevere Hill 350,000 3.1 10,900
Tshifufia 20,120,000 3.4 683,500
Tshifufiamashi 450,000 4.9 22,100
Total Inferred Resource 20,920,000 3.4
716,500

Geology

The three deposits at Kinsevere are named, from north to south, Tshifufiamashi, Tshifufia and Kinsevere Hill. They are hosted by what appear to be two separate "mega-fragments" of prospective stratigraphy (Lower Roan Supergroup/Mines Group), which are surrounded by younger sediments of the Kundelungu Supergroup, of the Katangan System. Lithologically, the deposits occur in a mixed sequence of siliciclastic and carbonate rocks, which are typical hosts to Katangan Copperbelt mineralization.

Most of the Kinsevere Mineral Resource defined to date (in all three deposits) is oxide ore, which forms a thick (>100m) supergene blanket that overlies sulphide mineralisation. The dominant copper oxide minerals are malachite (carbonate) and pseudo-malachite (phosphate), which are disseminated throughout the host rock, or as veins and/or veinlets that sometimes coalesce into prominent "clots". Heterogenite (cobalt oxide) is sometimes inter-grown with the copper, but is always a minor component of the ore.

The dominant copper sulphide mineral of the primary ore is chalcopyrite, but minor bornite, chalcocite, and cuprite also occur, along with native copper and pyrite. Most of this mineralisation occurs in veins and veinlets that often cross-cut bedding.

All three of the deposits are interpreted to be examples of structurally modified stratiform copper mineralization, which has weathered to form a supergene blanket of oxide ore.

Geology of the Kolwezi Klippe

The copper-cobalt deposits in the Kolwezi District are located within the so-called Kolwezi Klippe, a discrete geological terrain that is interpreted to have been thrust, by several tens of kilometers, over younger rocks into its current position. The Klippe hosts numerous “fragments” of prospective “Mines Group” stratigraphy, and is reputed to contain 880Mt of ore (past production and known resources), with an average grade of 4.5% Cu and 0.4% Co - for an estimated global resource of 40Mt copper and 3.5Mt cobalt Approximately 70% of the total historical production from Katanga is reported to come from the Kolwezi Klippe, and in the late 1980s production amounted to 350,000t copper per annum.

Mineralisation in the Kolwezi Klippe typically occurs in two 10-20m thick orebodies, within specific stratigraphic horizons within the Mines Group “fragments.” Both are hosted by dolomites and dolomitic shales, but the “Lower Orebody” is separated from the “Upper Orebody” by a 20m thick barren zone of silicified, stromatilitic dolomite (the so-called “RSC” unit). Because the “RSC” is silicified, and therefore very hard, it forms characteristic outcrops, which are useful as a marker horizon for regional mapping

 

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