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African Battery Metals switches focus to cobalt in DRC

Kisinka, a 53 sq km block, so far has seen field mapping over a significant portion of the licence
electric car
Batteries for electric cars will need a lot of cobalt

African Battery Metals PLC (LON:ABM) has changed its name recently from Sula Iron & Gold PLC to reflect the new importance of cobalt in its portfolio.

At present, the Kisinka licence, near Lubumbashi in the DRC, is the focus and early stage exploration has just got underway.

ABM says it chose the DRC because the metal can be mined and processed without the challenges faced by developers with arsenic rich ore elsewhere.

Kisinka is also close to several large copper-cobalt producing mines.

Good address

Indeed, there are seven large mines within 25km of Kisinka, including two that account for 7% of the world's cobalt.  

Kisinka, a 53 sq km block, so far has seen field mapping over a significant portion of the licence and a satellite imagery report.

Watch: African Battery Metals to kick off Augur drilling programme this week at Kisinka

Soil sampling will be the next step with Grand Conglomérat the first target. It runs SE-NW on both sides of the Kisinka licence.

Auger drilling every 25m to depths of up to 20m is underway with any notable anomalies sent for assay testing.

A second licence, Sakania, will be sampled when the wet season abates.

Ferensola

Up until recently, ABM had focused on iron and gold exploration at Ferensola in Sierra Leone, where talks over bringing in a partner continue with several non-disclosure agreements in place.

Chief executive upbeat

Roger Murphy, chief executive, recently spoke to Proactive.

“At the moment, auger drilling is an attractive option given its relatively cheap, quick and we can drill up to a hundred metres a day.

“We feel we are in the right areas and in the right rocks and are optimistic of finding something that can take Kasinka forward.

“At Sankania, the way to think about it is as one of a number of possibilities.”

Two other groups with attractive licences have approached ABM, he added, and these might be available, maybe on even better terms.

Well away from DRC conflict zone 

“DRC undoubtedly is one of the more challenging [mining] jurisdictions, but bear in mind the country is the size of India.

“All of the conflict is in the Far East of the country and we are a thousand kilometres from that in the south near the Zambian border.

“That is where all the copper comes from. It is a much more stable area with a lot of companies already operating there.”

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