Apollo Minerals Limited (ASX:AON) (FRA:4AP) is confident it has a major zinc and lead discovery developing at the Kroussou Project in Gabon after delivering strong mineralised intercepts at shallow depths with shares soaring as a result.

Initial results from a diamond drilling program at the province-scale project have supported the optimism with hits of up to 32 metres at 3.1% zinc and lead, including 13.5 metres at 5.3%.

Assays from 11 diamond holes completed at Dikaki Prospect, just one of 18 prospects at Kroussou, have confirmed shallow high-grade zinc and lead mineralisation within 40 metres of surface.

Shares jump 67%

Shares have been almost 67% higher in early trade to A$0.12.

Other strong results:

  • 40 metres at 2.2% zinc+lead from 3.2 metres, including 12 metres at 4.0% from 17 metres and 4 metres at 3.1% from 38 metres;
  • 33 metres at 2.4% zinc+lead from 34 metres, including 14 metres at 4.0% from 34 metres;
  • 21.7 metres at 2.3% zinc+lead from 15.7 metres, including 12.4 metres at 3.4% from 25 metres; and
  • 13.5 metres at 2.1% zinc+lead from 0.8 metres on the embayment edge, including 4.2 metres 4.4% from 9.8 metres.

“Confirms potential”

Apollo Minerals’ executive director Neil Inwood said: “These first drilling results confirm the potential of the Dikaki Prospect and of the larger Kroussou system.

“We are delighted our maiden drilling campaign is demonstrating grade and mineralisation continuity at Dikaki at very shallow depths which have the potential to be amenable to simple low-cost open pit mining.”

Kroussou Project location.

Inwood said: “The results highlight a shallow, flat-lying, broadly mineralised system, with potential for mineralisation to link up across multiple areas; demonstrating that Kroussou has the potential to deliver a significant, large-scale, base metal project.”

Kroussou Project covers 986.5 square kilometres in the Ngounié Province of western Gabon, about 220 kilometres southeast of the capital city of Libreville.

It is easily accessible by the major sealed N1 road from Libreville and well-maintained provincial roads to towns bordering the project.

Cross-section showing new drill results and historical drilling.

Dikaki diamond drilling

Diamond drilling at Dikaki, at the centre of the Kroussou project area and one of four prospects with historic drilling activity, was designed to test for the presence of mineralisation near historic exploration conducted by the French Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM).

This historic drilling to depths of 10-15 metres identified a variety of mineralisation styles, but the holes were either not sampled or only character sampled.

Phase 1 drilling at Dikaki consisted of 46 diamond drill holes that have demonstrated depth to basement of up to 45 metres. Assays from the remaining 35 holes are expected shortly.

Kroussou Project showing 18 key prospects over more than 80 kilometres of prospective strike length.

Niamabimbou drilling

With the Phase 1 drilling completed at Dikaki, the focus has shifted to initial drill testing of the highly prospective Niamabimbou Prospect about 13 kilometres south of Dikaki.

The company is focused on drill testing multiple targets across a prospective strike length of 8 kilometres with the ambition of making further new discoveries and demonstrating the scale potential of Kroussou.

Mapping and rock chip sampling at Niamabimbou in 2020 refined the interpreted geology of the sedimentary channels and generated numerous new high priority drill targets.

No previous drilling has been undertaken at Niamabimbou and as such, the region is a key focus of planned activities for the 2021 dry season exploration program.

Drilling at Niamabimbou, comprising around 100 holes for 5,000 metres of diamond drilling, is ongoing with initial assay results anticipated to be received during the coming quarter.

Multiple opportunities

The company believes Kroussou represents a large-scale, near-surface project with more than 80 kilometres of strike length and multiple opportunities for further discovery.

Strong news flow and further results are expected with assays pending from the remaining 35 holes completed at Dikaki and progression of the planned 100-hole program at the previously untested Niamabimbou Prospect.

Current drilling programs are focused on further defining the extents of shallow, potentially open-pittable, high-grade zinc-lead mineralisation.

Work plans

Work planned for the broader project may include:

  • Geophysical surveys to identify and classify new target regions along the entire +80-kilometre strike length of prospective geology at Kroussou;
  • Surface exploration programs including geological mapping, rock chip and soil sampling to further assess identified prospects and to generate and classify a global exploration target across the broader project area;
  • Ranking and prioritisation of exploration targets across the project area based on received exploration data;
  • Metallurgical test-work over all prospective targets to assess recovery characteristics, concentrate quality, and variability;
  • Additional targeted drilling programs aimed at converting exploration targets to JORC compliant resources; and
  • Technical studies, including a conceptual mining study, to assess the viability of a future mining operation.