Castillo Copper, a base metal explorer with stock exchange listings in London and Sydney, has uncovered multiple copper-potential drill-testing targets at its Mkushi project in Zambia, the continent’s second-largest copper producer.
Castillo claimed in a statement to Mining Weekly on Tuesday that the next phase in developing Mkushi, one of Castillo’s four properties in Zambia’s renowned Copperbelt, will be the design of a drilling campaign. Luanshya, Lumwana North and South, and Mwansa are the other three.
Multiple primary test-drilling prospects have significantly increased the exploration potential of Mkushi and Luanshya, prompting the Castillo board to seek a strategic partner to further develop its Zambian assets.
The fully-owned Mkushi surrounds the licence area of the Shi Yan Group, which reportedly hosts high-grade copper. (Also see attached graphic.)
Castillo’s findings are those of final geophysicists report that interpreted the results of an induced polarisation (IP) survey against three areas of known copper soil anomalies, with strike lengths ranging from about 4 km to 7 km.
Castillo Copper MD Dr Dennis Jensen described Mkushi’s IP survey results as being outstanding, “especially as they throw off numerous potential targets to test-drill for copper mineralisation”.
More significantly, he stated that they complemented the results from Luanshya, where 14 identified primary targets had been identified.
“Moving forward, the board is now actively seeking to align with a strategic partner to fully develop the Zambian assets,” Jensen added.
The geophysicist’s interpretations point to disseminated copper sulphide mineralisation.
Forty pre-selected IP lines across 54 km were utilised to test soil geochemical anomalism for potential disseminated copper mineralisation across three target areas, with the report noting a major fault that cuts across Mkushi, which could potentially be the source of mineralising fluids in the region. This, the release added, was consistent with earlier findings that identified two parallel shear zones that originate in Shi Yan Group’s contiguous mining lease, one in ground where copper mining is taking place.
As reported by Mining Weekly in December, Zambia Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga, the MP for Chingola, a copperbelt area, said during a visit to South Africa that Zambia was targeting the regaining of its once pre-eminent copper-mining position.
Mulenga was speaking at a spotlight-on-Zambia event hosted by Webber Wentzel and Musa Dudhia & Co.
The event took placed against the background of the government of Zambia, under president Hakainde Hichilema – who is known as HH – taking steps to introduce investment and economic policies to enable business and investment.
While Zambia was intent on also diversifying its economy, Mulenga emphasised that copper remained a major contributor to Zambia’s national treasury, and by regaining ground in copper, the country would earn substantial foreign exchange for the benefit of the Zambian people.
The Zambian government had thus set targets to produce three-million metric tonnes of copper a year by 2026. “We want to hit three-million metric tonnes of copper and beyond,” Mulenga enthused.
Mulenga also outlined the new government’s ambition to advance the generation of green energy.
This would be assisted, he said, by the country’s new Green Ministry, which had been established to advance sun and wind energy, in addition to the development of more green hydropower in areas not prone to drought.
Zambia’s copper tailings on surface in waste deposits are also being targeted as a means of recovering copper at comparatively low cost. This is part of the world’s new circular economy thinking, with copper-containing waste removal also uplifting the environment.