Rio Tinto compiled all the available Solwezi Licence data produced by Midnight Sun and prior operators into their management systems and completed additional field work


Rio Tinto Advances to next stage of agreement. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay)

Midnight Sun Mining announce that Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration have delivered formal notice that they have completed the Initial Work Program phase of the earn-in and joint venture agreement (the “Earn-In Agreement”) on Midnight Sun’s Solwezi Licences by incurring project expenditures in excess of USD $3,000,000, and are proceeding to Stage 1.

Under Stage 1 of the Earn-In Agreement, Rio Tinto may earn a 51% interest in the Solwezi Licences by incurring a further USD $16,000,000 of project expenditures within four years, as well as making cash payments to Midnight Sun. For more information on the terms of the Earn in Agreement, please see the Company’s news release Midnight Sun Signs USD$51 Million Earn-In Agreement With Rio Tinto, dated April 27, 2020.

During the Initial Work phase, Rio Tinto compiled all the available Solwezi Licence data produced by Midnight Sun and prior operators into their management systems and completed additional field work. The goal of the Initial Work was to strengthen their geological understanding of the Solwezi Licences and further delineate exploration targets on the Licences.

Al Fabbro, President and CEO of Midnight Sun stated, “I am very pleased to see the attention Rio Tinto is giving this project. Under the terms of the Earn-In Agreement, Rio Tinto had two full field seasons to complete the Initial Work Program and they completed the program in a matter of months. Now, without any interruption in field work, they have elected to continue on to the next phase of the earn-in.”

During the Initial Work Program, the majority of the field work undertaken by Rio Tinto was focused in the area around the 22 Zone and includes:

Infill soil sampling program, completed on 250 metre x 250 metre spacing;
Airborne geophysical survey collecting magnetic, radiometric and digital terrain modelling data, completed on 50 metre line spacing;
A natural source audio-frequency magnetotelluric geophysical survey, totalling 72.3 line kilometres;
A regional gravity survey, 1-3 kilometre spaced; and
Air core drilling, 165 holes totalling 6,050 metres.
Currently, a 3,000 metre diamond drill program is underway.

The Solwezi Licences are comprised of two individual exploration licences totalling 506 square kilometres, situated in the North-Western Province of Zambia on the prolific Zambia-Congo Copper Belt and immediately adjacent to Africa’s largest copper mining complex, First Quantum’s Kansanshi Mine.

Quality Control/Quality Assurance: All samples collected including soil samples and air core samples were sent to ALS Global Preparation Lab in Ndola and were analysed by lab certified portable XRF. Soil samples and air core samples where regolith and fresh/weakly weathered rock at the bottom of the hole were intersected were sent on for further analysis using a 4-acid digestion on the samples followed by ICP-MS analysis (the ME-MS61L package) by ALS Global – Geochemistry Analytical Lab in Vancouver, Canada. One duplicate sample and one certified standard sample were inserted by Rio Tinto in every 20 samples analyzed for quality control/quality assurance purposes.

Source: Company Press Release