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Rio Tinto starts exploration on Solwezi project

The Solwezi licenses are adjacent to First Quantum’s Kansanshi copper mine (pictured). Credit: First Quantum Minerals.

Rio Tinto has started its initial 2021 exploration campaign on Midnight Sun’s Solwezi licenses in Zambia, part of an earn-in and joint venture agreement the companies signed in April 2020.

The initial 2021 work program budget is $3.2 million and is expected to be completed in late June.

Rio Tinto’s planned initial work includes 4,000 metres of diamond and 1,900 metres of air core drilling on the Mitu trend; 1,200 metres of diamond drilling to test high grade copper anomalies, identified in the Q4 2020 air core drill program, on the north side of the Solwezi Dome at the Gameno (formerly Kifubwe) Prospect; and 1,600 metres of reverse circulation and 1,000 metres of air core drilling, and further mapping at Dumbwa to test a 10+ kilometre copper soil anomaly.

Solwezi comprises two individual exploration licences totalling 506 square kilometres.

The project is situated on the Zambia-Congo copper belt and is immediately adjacent to Africa’s largest copper mining complex, First Quantum’s Kansanshi mine.

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