by Ina King (Potgieter)
ASX-listed Walkabout Resources announced early in October 2015 that it had intercepted shallow and wide massive graphite layers, displaying flakes larger than 1 mm, at its Lindi Jumbo graphite project site in south eastern Tanzania with its initial reverse circulation drilling.
Maiden drilling revealed extensive near surface visually classified massive graphite along with multiple wide intersections of graphitic schists and gneisses. 17 drill holes completed to 1 061 metres of a 1 000 metre reverse circulation drill programme confirmed the presence of multiple, wide, near surface graphite layers along the shallow dipping flanks of antiforms and synforms.
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“The drill programme identified a near surface and potentially high grade zone within the Gilbert ARC, which will be the focus of our immediate attention, and can be defined as a resource very quickly,” said Walkabout MD Allan Mulligan. Gilbert ARC has been confirmed as the area that can deliver five million tons of resource within a contained potential mine-site area. “This area is well-suited for a first phase mining operations in line with our strategy to rapidly develop several modular mine sites at Lindi Jumbo.” A 200-metre diamond drilling programme was due to commence in the second week of October 2015.
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“The antiformal structure at Gilberts ARC is similar to a structure defined at the Magnis-owned Nachu Graphite Project, [located] next door, and which is listed as the highest grade area of that resource,” says Mulligan. “We also exposed several massive graphite outcrops with the bulldozer.”
No assay results had been returned at the time of writing, but previously visually massive graphite at surface was assayed at between 16% and 43% total graphite carbon (TGC). The drill programme revealed that 37%, or 198 metres by length of graphite intersections, is classified as massive with visible flakes.
All of the drill holes in the target zones intersected multiple shallow and wide graphite layers, often huge in nature and displaying flakes larger than 1 millimetres. The dip of the mineralised units intersected in the drilling shallow, only between 20° and 30°, further supported by sporadic outcrops in the drilling areas. Thick graphitic units were intersected from surface and at depths of more than 80 metres vertically beneath the surface. Additionally, intersections within several holes appeared massive in nature with the graphite reporting to the cyclone as rich, black or grey material that floats on top of the wash water. “The nature of these wide and massive down-hole intersections meets our strategic criteria to develop bespoke, ‘right-size’ modular graphite mines supplying locked in end-user customers,” says Mulligan.
The intersections within the Gilbert ARC are near surface, wide and relatively flat in structure making the potential orebody, yet to be defined, particularly suitable to shallow open cut mining. The mine plans to define a modest and shallow resource as soon as possible, commence studies to define a mine design and market the product to an end-user partner.
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