Copper and cobalt are commodities the Democratic Republic of Congo is known for. The thing about copper in the DRC is that it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Soil anomalies almost anywhere in the DRC extension of the copper belt will show anomalies in copper grade, but try find the source, particularly high-grade sources and one could be drilling for some of the most complex orebodies. Typically, orebodies sit as what is referred to as “mega-breccia blocks”, and the trick is first finding these, structurally understanding them, and then finding the ore within these mega-blocks.
Minrom has been conducting a large drilling programme on one such deposit, Kamfundwa Mine in DRC. Kamfundwa is a copper-cobalt mine with the majority of historical mining focusing on the copper. Anyone who has worked in the DRC knows that finance is a tricky business there. Therefore, Minrom employed a phased dynamic drilling approach in order to maximise the geological data obtained and minimise costs.
Here’s what we found:
- Triple tube is a must be used, as core is highly fragmented and often in ore bearing units.
- Don’t forget the historical data! Over 160 historical sections were digitised and used to create a historical geological model, which greatly aided in guiding the drilling programme.
- Get to know the stratigraphy – sound obvious but when you are dealing with structurally complex orebodies your understanding of the stratigraphy and its depositional history can go a long way in understanding the core.
- Geophysics, geophysics, geophysics – that’s right we’ve come a long way since the 1940s so why explore the same way. Especially since high definition magnetics followed by EM has proved to work very well in Katangan style mineralisation.