Marula Mining has announced a successful site visit to Nkombwa Hill niobium and tantalum, rare earth elements and phosphate project in Zambia.
“Through this site visit, it has become even more apparent that everything is in place and in motion for further development at Nkombwa Hill at an accelerated pace and which we hope will lead to the eventual production of battery and green metals, at a time when the world needs projects such as ours to come online the most,” CEO Jason Brewer Brewer said.
Previous exploration at the hill had defined a Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (Jorc-) compliant total indicated and inferred mineral resource of 21.8-million tonnes at a grade of 7.06% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) and 1.17% total rare earth oxides (TREOs) at a 3% P2O5 cut-off.
Diamond drill boreholes
As a subset of the total mineral resource, a mineral resource of 2.78-million tonnes at a grade of 2.76% TREO and 6.43% P2O5 at a 1% TREO cut-off grade was defined. The reported total mineral resource was defined on an area of less than 5% of the project.
Majority of the diamond drill boreholes were located that were completed as part of the previous resource definition programme. The differing styles of mineralisation were also widely observed at the project during the site visit. This included five types of carbonatites which have been identified and include dolomite carbonatite, ankerite/siderite carbonatite, veined carbonatite, phlogopite carbonatite and silicified carbonatite, and where phosphate and rare earth elements mineralisation had been identified, mostly in hydrothermally enriched zones, from previous drilling programmes.
A key focus of the site visit was on a major alluvial zone on the project’s southern side, which had been previously defined and investigated in 2008 and 2009, and where niobium and tantalum mineralisation had been identified and preliminary estimates on tonnages and grade had been made. A sampling programme of the niobium and tantalum mineralisation was undertaken during the site visit, with the samples currently in Johannesburg for metallurgical analyses.