The Khoemacau Project is a copper-silver project located in a sparsely populated region of northwest Botswana in the Kalahari Desert and is made up of over 4,040 square kilometres of mineral concessions. The Zone 5 mineralization has proven to be consistent over the known linear strike of nearly four kilometres. The April 2018 independent resource estimate established in line with JORC guidelines for Zone 5 is summarized below, indicating 30.4 million tonnes of proven and probable ore reserves.
The table below shows the total resource independently established in line with JORC guidelines at Zone 5, including measured, indicated and inferred resources, which total 91.7 million tonnes. The current mine plan envisages mining and processing 74.4 million tonnes of ore with head grades of 2.02% copper and 21.4g/t silver.
In addition to Zone 5 resources, there are a further 93.5 million tonnes of high-grade ore grading 1.9% copper and 33g/t silver across the Khoemacau Project. The Company plans on developing these resources in conjunction with the construction of the Starter Project.
The Company plans to develop the Zone 5 orebody as three separate underground mines each producing 1.0 to 1,5 million tonnes per year on average for the first five years.Each of the mines will have its own independent ramp access and operate over a strike length of approximately 1,000 metres, extracting ore using a conventional sub-level open stoping mining method.
The mined ore will be trucked approximately 35 kilometres to the Boseto processing facility, which will be refurbished and enhanced to process 3.65 million tonnes per annum. Processing will be conventional sulphide flotation via three stage crushing, ball milling and flotation, which will produce a high-quality copper concentrate grading approximately 40% for shipment to African and international smelters.
Power will be sourced from the Botswana Power Corporation grid via a 50-kilometre overhead transmission line connection. Existing diesel generation capacity remaining from the previous Boseto operations will be used as backup power. Water will be supplied from three borefields along with dewatering boreholes from the mines at Zone 5.
The total development capex for the Starter Project is US$397 million, including contingency and escalation.
Development Strategy.The Company’s short-term plan is to achieve safe reliable production of the Starter Project. The long-term plan is to expand Khoemacau to approximately 5.8 million tonnes per annum, via the Expansion Project whereby a new standalone process plant will be built at Zone 5. A pre-feasibility study was completed on the Expansion Project in 2015 and the Company intends on advancing this to a definitive feasibility study and then full engineering for this in conjunction with the construction of the Starter Project.The Expansion Project is expected to produce in excess of 100,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
In addition to Zone 5, the Company has multiple high-grade deposits on the Khoemacau and Boseto land packages that it intends to exploit. The most immediate targets are the Zone 5 North and Zeta Northeast deposits which have total inferred resources of 54 million tonnes grading 2 -1% copper and 41g/t silver. It is envisaged that these resources can be used to fill the Boseto processing facility once the Expansion Project is complete. In total, the Khoemacau and Boseto assets combined have 500mt of ore resources grading 1.4% copper and 17g/t silver.
Geological Setting.The Kalahari Copper Belt ("KCB") is a 1,000-kilometer-long NE-SW trending belt of sediment-hosted, stratiform Copper-Silver (Cu-Ag) deposits hosted in Meso- and Neoproterozoic rocks. The KCB extends from northern Botswana into Namibia along the NW edge of the Kalahari Craton, and consists of folded and greenschist metamorphosed Ghanzi (Botswana) and Tsumis (Namibia) Group metasedimentary rocks.
The KCB’s Cu–Ag deposits occur in chemically reduced shales and siltstones that overlie oxidized sandstones. This regional interface, which is both a permeability barrier and redox boundary, played a critical role in the formation of the Cu–Ag deposits, and represents a geologic setting similar to that of the Central African Copper Belt and Kupferschiefer in Poland.
Cupric has an extensive package of licenses with in-place mining infrastructure, JORC aligned resources and numerous additional high-grade Cu-Ag exploration targets in the KCB of Botswana. Since the acquisition of Khoemacau in 2013, Cupric has drilled out a 92 million tonne high-grade resource on Zone 5 and acquired the adjacent Boseto Project along with its process plant, infrastructure, and exploration assets.
Following the success on Zone 5, exploration was focused on the Zone 5 North, Zeta NE and Mango deposits. Further drilling has identified other attractive mineralisation occurrences on similar NE-SW and SSE-NNW trendlines.