(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Redcliffe Resources (ASX: RCF), formerly Pacrim Energy, is broadening its exploration focus with the planned acquisition of up to a 90% interest in the Tunduru Copper Project in Tanzania.
The Tunduru Project is located in southern Tanzania covering an area of around 247 square kilometres.
While minimal historical exploration has been undertaken, artisanal copper mining activity in the area has increased significantly the past 24 months.
Artisanal copper mining in the north of the licence area on private mining leases is being undertaken on a much larger scale than previously.
Visual assessment identifies high grade copper mineralisation that is being exploited by the artisanal miners.
The use of machinery including excavators is being employed, with an open pit excavation over a length of 50 metres and to a depth of about 20 metres having been observed.
This is an unusual practice for artisanal miners within Tanzania and it is believed that it could only be supported where higher grade mineralisation exists. The ore is being bagged on site for direct shipping to offshore process facilities.
It appears the copper mineralisation exposed to date is shear related, within the Proterozoic Mozambique Belt.
Early stage potential
Tundura represents an early stage project with significant scope for both size and grade of mineralisation.
Redcliffe will look to identify extensions of shear related copper mineralisation under cover and along strike from current artisanal activity.
Potential also exists for the discovery of intrusive bodies that may have been the source of the mineralisation.
The nature and extent of the licence provides scope for the identification of significant mineralised systems within a largely unexplored region.
Subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence, Redcliffe intends to undertake a geophysical and geochemical survey of the project targeting potential extensions undercover of copper mineralisation that is the focus of artisanal activity in the north of the project area.
Under the terms of the agreement, Redcliffe will now undertake due diligence on the Tundura Project for up to 45 days, which may be extended if the wet season makes site access impractical.
Upon exercise of the option, Redcliffe can earn an initial 50% interest by spending US1 million on exploration at the project.
The company can then move to a 75% stake by spending a further 1 million, at which time the vendor may elect to contribute or revert to a 10% free carried interest until a decision to mine is made.
Redcliffe must spend at least US150,000 prior to any election to withdraw.
Further East African opportunities
Tunduru represents the first stage of a broader exploration focus for Redcliffe, and further investment opportunities in East Africa are being considered.
However, Redcliffe's primary short to medium term focus remains the Leonora region where the company is continuing work on the Redcliffe Gold Project.