Exploration in the Kunene Cobalt Province
Gecko in the Kunene Cobalt Province
Gecko Exploration holds 4 Exclusive Prospecting Licenses (EPL) and 2 EPL applications surrounding the Opuwo Cobalt Project of Celsius Resources in the Kunene Region.
The initial cobalt discovery – now on the landholding of Celsius Resources – was made by Gecko Exploration’s General Manager Dr Ellmies in 2012. Mapping and sampling revealed that Namibia’s first cobalt deposit is of very large scale. Cobalt as cobalt sulphide occurs in only one specific stratigraphic horizon in a dolomitic marlstone which was named the Dolostone Ore Formation (DOF).
Gecko Exploration manages all exploration activities for Celsius Resources at the Opuwo Cobalt Project. With its first drilling program of about 150 boreholes in 2017, Celsius intends to delineate a resource of 33 – 41 MT, grading approximately 0.13 – 0.17 % cobalt and 0.45 – 0.65% copper to 150-250 meters depth (Celsius Resources, September 2017).
Potential Extension of DOF Cobalt Horizon on Gecko’s license package
Gecko’s EPL4347 is situated in the direct western extension of the Opuwo Cobalt Project of Celsius Resources. The potential extension of the cobalt-copper horizon is fully covered by younger alluvium. A soil survey and subsequent drill tests are planned for early 2018.
Historic targets of orogenic copper at Okanihova
Exploration activities by Ellmies’ team of Kunene Resources showed a formerly unknown kilometer-scale hydrothermal system on EPL4347 with associated copper, barite and zinc-lead mineralisations. First Quantum Minerals as JV partner of Kunene Resources in 2015 financed a drilling program targeting sediment-hosted copper mineralisation along the Okanihova lineament in the southwest of the hydrothermal system. As vein-hosted chalcopyrite is associated with pyrrhotite, drilling targeted magnetic anomalies along the fault zone. All drill holes intercepted vein systems of orogenic copper mineralisation as predicted. However, assays of the long drill intercepts returned with low-grade copper mineralisation (approximately 100m@ 0.29%Cu). The late, tectonically-triggered mineralisation of chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite-quartz-calcite veins along the Okanihova lineament does not warrant any further exploration. However, the extend of orogenic copper mineralisation points to a significant source at depth from where copper was remobilized by fluids.
Okanihova Black Shale Cobalt Target
Two of the historical FQM boreholes intercepted black shales at the bottom of the holes which were previously only partly analysed. Recent laboratory analysis of historic RC drill chips of the two boreholes KHR04 and KHR08 revealed highly anomalous cobalt mineralisation below the fault-associated copper mineralisation.
Western and Southwest Cobalt Targets
Systematic soil sampling by Kunene Resources and FQM delineated the most significant cobalt soil anomalies of the region in the unexplored western part of Gecko’s license block on EPLs 3825 and 5601. Therefore, besides the advanced targets near Okanihova, exploration will focus on the western extension of the Kunene Cobalt Province.
The most significant cobalt anomalies are found on EPL3825 along strike of the assumed western extension of the DOF horizon. It seems the DOF horizon was tectonically thinned by the northward moving block between the Okanihova and Olulilwa faults but might be tectonically unaffected to the west of the Olulilwa fault. This remote terrain has never been mapped. Therefore, Gecko will put priority on detailed mapping and sampling of the “Western Target”.