Highlights of 2012

Now that 2012 has drawn to a close, we take great pleasure in reflecting on our work over the year and the opportunity this has given us to broaden our geological knowledge and our skills, to say nothing of our experiences with diverse people, cultures and geographies of the many foreign lands we have visited.

Our involvement in the exploration of several licences for uranium in Mauritania continued early in the year with Peter managing the evaluation and assessment programme of a number of airborne anomalies in the Sahara desert; as would be expected, wind, sand and sun combined with the very remote locations made for challenging logistics problems but after several previous visits we now have a great team of local drivers and assistants to ease the way.

The assignment required the camp and crew to be moved every week and re-supply of food and fuel was achieved in some very small villages in the dune-fields. Mauritania has an eclectic mix of Arab and African people and culture all unified by their Islamic beliefs.

Viv has been involved with several projects this year. These have included many weeks of travel in the remote reaches of Zambia, and visits to Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Camel farming is a major agricultural activity with nomadic Bedouin farmers moving their herds on a regular basis.

Children in the village of Bennichchâb.

Sunset in our field camp.

Queensland Resources - Polymetallic

Queensland Resources instructed VP3 to commence and manage a regional exploration programme in Zambia. Although Copper-Belt style mineralization was the target for many of the copper areas, gold and uranium occurrences were also on the target list. More than 20 exploration areas received a preliminary assessment and we covered virtually all units of the Zambian geology which involved a substantial amount of motoring.

A view across the Kasempa pit, examined as part of the QRAC preliminary programme. The next phase will involve historical research, airborne geophysics, geological mapping and drilling of the best sites.

ARMSA (Athi River Mining South Africa) - Cement

VP3 completed a further drilling campaign at the Mafikeng Cement project in early 2012 to complete over 200 drillholes on the site. A significant calcrete resource has now been identified.

On completion of the programme VP3 estimated a resource using the polygonal method. At VP3’s suggestion a second resource was independently estimated by Z-Star who used Kriging. Both estimates were very comparable in grade and tonnage.

The dangers of field work are well demonstrated by this sloughed cobra skin.

Tengani – Titanium Sands

Tengani is a titanium deposit in southern Malawi. The rutile and ilmenite are derived from a Basement anorthosite, associated with abundant garnet, & liberated by weathering and transported a short distance down adjacent streams, to form a colluvial fan overlying Shire River sediments. Exploration of the deposit has been on-going for some considerable time but recent work is aimed at the production of a rutile and ilmenite product on a bench scale. Both SGS laboratories and Mintek are working on the optimum extraction of a saleable product

Chamazi Gold Project, Zimbabwe

Another interesting project assessment was completed at Chamazi Gold in southern Zimbabwe. The project was drilled by RTZ and has an estimated resource of some 1.4 M ounces Au (non-compliant).

The gold is present in at least three quartz veins and extends into the adjacent country wall rock. The gold / quartz appear to have formed in dilation zones within mylonites in the Achaean Basement. VP3 is currently designing a drill evaluation programme to achieve a JORC / NI 43-101 code compliant resource estimate.

Our associate, Andy Killick was called upon to assess a local Manganese deposit that was up for sale and enjoyed several days wandering around in the foothills of the Riviersonderend mountain range. There are a number of small manganese occurrences in the Table Mountain sandstones formed by lateral secretion of iron, manganese and phosphorus but these seldom amount to viable volumes; Andy made a very preliminary estimate of some 500,000 tonnes of ore grading 26% Mn.

Paul has been engaged with a number of very interesting diamond projects this year. He produced a SAMREC compliant Resource estimate for the Lace Diamond Mine north of Kroonstad in the Free State Province, South Africa for DiamondCorp Plc.

He wrote an independent NI43-101 technical report on the Tsabong North (Kimberlite) Project in southwest Botswana for Pangolin Diamonds as part of their reverse takeover requirements of a TSX listed shell company.

Paul was also asked to provide independent verification of a resource/reserve estimate of an alluvial diamond deposit at Akwatia in Ghana – this isolated, high grade, deposit of relatively small diamonds is off-craton and to date no primary source has been discovered – an intriguing deposit indeed.

Banka-style drill sampling of the Akwatia alluvial diamond deposit.

Palm oil nuts and Cocoa plantation, Ghana