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KoBold Metals expands Zambia footprint with Midnight Sun deal

KoBold Metals, backed by a coalition of billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is expanding its footprint in Zambia after inking a deal with Midnight Sun Mining (TSX-V: MMA) to jointly explore the Dumbwa target on the Canadian miner’s Solwezi copper project.

The US-based startup aims to earn a 75% interest in the Dumbwa portion of Solwezi, which it could achieve by spending $15 million in exploration and making cash payments totalling $500,000 over four and a half years.

“We look forward to KoBold applying their groundbreaking exploration approach to the Dumbwa Target and moving this important Zambian copper asset toward development together, which we view as perfectly timed to coincide with an upcoming phase of unprecedented global copper demand,” Midnight Sun president and chief executive, Al Fabbro, said in the statement.

KoBold Metals Africa CEO Mfikeyi Makayi said the Dumbwa target hosted “intriguing” copper-in-soil anomalies and a structural setting comparable to other major deposits in the region.

“The KoBold sediment-hosted copper team has decades of experience working in the African Copperbelt, which we will combine with our library of analytical tools and proprietary technology to aggressively explore at Dumbwa,” Makati said.

KoBold has an established presence in Zambia, including its flagship Mingomba project for which it is currently completing resource definition drilling and a pre- feasibility study. 

Earlier this month the California-based firm said recent drilling at Mingomba had confirmed the “huge” size of the deposit.

It noted the asset was shaping up to be “extraordinary”, according to KoBold president Josh Goldman. He added that the potential of the discovery compared to that of the Kamoa-Kakula mine, owned by Ivanhoe Mines and China’s Zijin Mining. This operation, located just across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), produced almost 400,000 tonnes of copper last year. 

Beyond copper

KoBold is not just focused on copper, but rather all minerals and metals considered critical for the energy transition.

It began its quest for battery metals began almost four years ago in Canada, after it acquired rights to the area in northern Quebec, just south of Glencore’s Raglan nickel mine, where it detected lithium.

The startup is now advancing 60 active project spanning four continents, Africa, North America, Australia and Asia.

Using artificial intelligence, Kobold aims to create a “Google Maps” of the Earth’s crust, with a special focus on finding copper, cobalt, nickel and lithium deposits. 

It collects and analyzes multiple streams of data — from old drilling results to satellite imagery — to better understand where new deposits might be found.  

Algorithms applied to the data collected determine the geological patterns that indicate a potential deposit of cobalt, which occurs naturally alongside nickel and copper. 

The technology, KoBold said, can locate resources that may have eluded more traditional geologists and can help miners decide where to acquire land and drill.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More