By Benjamin Wickham
WINDHOEK, Oct. 5 — Noronex has achieved a significant expansion of the known mineralisation envelope at its Fiesta prospect, situated within Namibia’s promising Kalahari copper belt (KCB). The results of the maiden drilling program conducted at the site reveal an extension of 750 meters, now totalling over 3.5 kilometres of strike length.
Key highlights from the latest round of results include a 5-meter intercept featuring 0.44% copper and 12 grams per tonne of silver from a depth of 233 meters, along with a 13-meter section averaging 0.3% copper and 8g/t silver from 253 meters. This drilling campaign aimed to extend mineralisation along the strike from a previous substantial intercept, which included 13 meters grading at 1.4% copper and an additional 31 meters at 0.9% copper and 33g/t silver.
Noronex’s maiden drilling program specifically targets copper-rich sediments at the Ngwako-Pan-D’Kar Formation contact. Previous successes included a 45-meter intercept of 0.8% copper and 23g/t silver from a depth of 144 meters, with a 13-meter section containing 1.5% copper and 45g/t silver from 150 meters.
The company successfully completed drilling at Fiesta, with 11 holes totalling more than 3000 meters through the Kalahari desert sands to reach the prospective sedimentary horizon. Assay results for the remaining six holes are anticipated in the coming weeks.
The United States Geological Society recognizes the KCB as one of the world’s most promising areas for yet-to-be-discovered sediment-hosted copper deposits.
The relatively underexplored KCB stretches approximately 1000 kilometres from central Namibia into the northwest of neighbouring Botswana, traversing the Kalahari Desert. It is home to a notable roster of copper explorers and producers, including industry giants like Rio Tinto and Sandfire Resources.
Having concluded drilling at Fiesta, Noronex has relocated its rig to the Blowhole prospect near the Botswana border, where it is embarking on its inaugural drilling program in the area. This strategic move aligns with the identification of structural targets along the strike from ASX-listed Cobre Limited’s recent Ngami and Tlou intercepts, which included 12 meters grading at 2.5% copper and 24g/t silver.
Noronex’s management highlights the significance of aeromagnetic surveys, which indicate the extension of this promising horizon into Namibia, where drilling efforts will focus on the mineralized D’Kar contact within a sheared fold closure.
Noronex’s Chief Geologist, Bruce Hooper, expresses enthusiasm about the copper intercepts along the extensions of the main Fiesta horizon, emphasizing their positive implications for the Fiesta copper system’s potential size and target areas. The company is now eager to explore the Botswana border region, targeting favourable structural settings for large deposits that have never been previously drilled.
Notably, further along the Kalahari copper belt lies Botswana’s Zone 5 mine and copper deposit, boasting 168 million tonnes at 2.1% copper. Zone 5 is ultimately owned by Cupric Canyon Capital, which plans a 22-year-long mine operation ramping up to 60,000 tonnes per annum of copper.
While copper prices currently hover at a four-month low due to weakened Chinese demand and bearish market sentiment, the metal’s looming supply shortfall cannot be ignored. Goldman Sachs predicts that global demand for copper will outstrip supplies by 2025, driving prices well above their current levels.
Noronex, well-positioned in the emerging KCB, appears to be strategically timing its exploration efforts to capitalize on the anticipated growth in demand for copper.