Exploration company African Battery Metals announced on Thursday that the auger programme on its Kisinka property in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been extended to investigate some additional soil anomalies.
The AIM-traded firm said two lines of augering had so far been completed on the 70%-owned Kisinka licence in the DRC - one across the southeastern part of the 7 km-8 km long licence and the second towards the north western part of the property.
It said the augering did not penetrate the licence's bedrock, which was where mineralisation was hosted, but penetrated the surface to extract soil samples from closer to the bedrock, which was useful in areas of soil cover like Kisinka.
XRF Niton results from the northern auger line, which deviated to follow local tracks so as not to cross fields of crops, had led to the decision to extend the line.
As the company had previously disclosed, it intended to submit soil samples collected from interesting anomalies for laboratory analysis in Johannesburg, which would occur shortly.
Given the large size of the Licence, and the distance between the two lines of augering, consideration would also be given to running a soil sampling programme on a grid pattern across the whole licence area.
African Battery said it was also aware of similar soil sample programmes being conducted by other companies on licences immediately adjacent to Kisinka, and it understood that copper-cobalt anomalies had been identified on those adjacent licences.
Additionally, the company said that while the current exploration focus was on Kisinka, the team continued to evaluate other copper-cobalt opportunities in the DRC.
It said it was retaining the option over a second licence, Sakania, and expected to investigate that licence in due course.
African Battery had also been approached to look at other licences within the DRC, some of which had geological work already completed on them, and which confirmed high grade copper/cobalt mineralisation.
"The first two lines of our auger programme at Kisinka have now been completed, with soil anomalies showing elevated levels of cobalt," said CEO Roger Murphy.
"Given positive indications from the northern auger line, we have decided to extend the auger programme and we plan to submit samples for laboratory analysis in Johannesburg shortly."
Murphy said the next round of field work on Kisinka, which could involve soil sampling or further augering, would be formulated based on ongoing results.
"We will update the market with these as they become available.
"In the meanwhile we are excited by the quality of opportunities we are being offered.
"We continue to assess these opportunities and will update the market as appropriate."