Blina turns attention to Madagascar copper project
Blina Minerals has pressed the reset button with the signing of an option agreement to acquire private Australian company Madacu Resources, which is earning up to 95% in the Maintirano copper project in western Madagascar.
The move follows months of due diligence work on a mysterious copper project in Africa that saw the company collect rock chip samples and start planning work on geophysical surveys.
Maintirano covers 1658 square kilometres and is located within 100km of the coastal town of Maintirano. The area is known to hold over 30 copper occurrences, some of which are mined on an artisanal-scale.
Copper mineralisation is predominantly associated with basalt, occurring as malachite, minor azurite, cuprite, native copper and minor copper sulphide. There is also copper mineralisation in steeply dipping veins that potentially extend over at least 350 metres of strike.
This mineralisation has similarities with the major copper occurrences mined in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, where about 5 million tonnes of copper was produced from ores grading between 1.5% and 3% over a period of more than 100 years.
Copper oxide is mined on artisanal scale at Tsarandaba and Belitsaka and widespread copper carbonate mineralisation in basalt can be traced for considerable distances along the hillsides of flat basalt plateaus.
While small scale mining has also being carried out by Chinese and Korean companies, the Maintirano project remains largely unexplored.
Madacu conducted an initial short helicopter-based program that was followed up by Blina’s recent due diligence program.
Notably, high grade mineralisation was found in many of the 54 rock chip samples collected by Blina and Madacu including a top grade of 11% copper.
Assays area also pending for an additional 59 samples that were collected in August and September.
Blina is currently finalising a geophysical survey to investigate the known copper occurrences to look for large primary native copper/sulphide zones in the basalts both beneath and on the extensions of the known secondary occurrences to depths of 100 metres on the steeply dipping veins.
A regional scale program to search for new hidden deposits is also being considered.
The company is also looking at various options to select the most cost-effective way of detecting both the disseminated and massive sulphide potential of the targets.
Any drilling will be conducted after the wet season ends in June 2019.
Blina is acquiring Madacu for an initial payment of 180 million shares and $200,000 as reimbursement for Madacu’s field expenses.
The company will issue another 120m shares to Madacu’s owners if it identifies at least four drill targets and a further 200m shares if it delineates a minimum indicated resource of 10 million tonnes grading more than 1.5% copper.
Madacu has an agreement to earn an initial 70% interest in Maintirano from local company Mada Hanra by spending USD$2m on exploration over two years along with separate vendor payments of USD$128,250 and an option and exercise fee of USD$76,000.
It can acquire a further 20% in the project after 24 months by paying USD$475,000 and a further USD$712,500 on conversion of selected Exploration Licences into Exploitation Licences.
A final 5% interest may be acquired at Madacu’s option for a final payment of USD$7.125m.