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RNS Number : 5207M

African Pioneer PLC

24 May 2022

24 May 2022

African Pioneer Plc

("African Pioneer" or "the Company")

Drilling Programme at Ongombo Project in Namibia

African Pioneer plc ("APP" or the "Company"), the exploration and resource development company with projects located in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, is pleased to inform shareholders that, further to the announcement 9 February 2022, a shallow diamond drilling programme has commenced on the Ongombo Project, Namibia.

Highlights:

   --      25 to 30-hole shallow diamond drill programme has commenced on the Ongombo Project 

-- 6 holes completed to date with all holes intersecting encouraging sulphide mineralisation with chalcopyrite at shallow depths

-- Visual estimates of chalcopyrite content in the mineralised zones indicate notable quantities of copper sulphide to date

   --      Drill programme designed to test near-surface oxide and sulphide copper-gold mineralisation 

-- Work also underway to resample historic drill core to test for elevated gold values in and around copper mineralisation

Colin Bird, Chairman of African Pioneer, said:

"I am delighted with these early results from our drilling programme, particularly since the core appears to be sulphides close to surface. The programme has the intend to identify a small open pit and thereafter proceed ex highwall to commence underground mining. The programme continues and we look forward to the results to finalise mine planning. We are pleased that we have gained access to more drill core, and we intend to specifically test for gold, both in quantum and process characteristics. I am very pleased with the progress in fast tracking the Ongombo Project."

Ongombo Project Near-surface Drill Programme

Six holes have been completed to date. Assessment of the potential of the mineralised zone at this stage in the evaluation process is based on visual estimates of copper sulphide content, occurring as chalcopyrite and relies on the experience of the geologist managing the drilling programme and logging core to assess the proportion of visible chalcopyrite relative to pyrite and other minerals making up the mineralised horizon.

Visual estimates of copper content do not reflect the expected assay grade of the mineralised horizon but do indicate the extent of chalcopyrite mineralisation.

Table 1: Mineralised Widths of First Six Drillholes Completed on Near-Surface Drill Programme on the Ongombo Project

 
 Hole ID    From    To      Mineralised*   End Of Hole 
             (m)     (m)     Width          (m) 
                             (m) 
 APD001     11.81   14.81   3.0            17.45 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 APD002     21.27   22.27   1.0            29.78 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 APD003     7.30    11.86   4.56           17.86 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 APD004     20.59   21.50   0.91           26.83 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 APD005     11.4    13.05   1.65           17.81 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 APD006     36.5    38.1    1.60           56.99 
           ------  ------  -------------  ------------ 
 

The following link is to a picture of drill core from APD002, APD003, APD004 and APD005 showing visible chalcopyrite

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/5207M_1-2022-5-23.pdf

The gossanous outcrop at Ongombo has been assumed to be the surface expression of the mineralisation drilled at depth to generate the current Ongombo Mineral Resource Estimate. African Pioneer has projected this same mineralisation to extend to surface through to the gossan outcrop. It has been assumed that previous exploration drilling ignored the near-surface potential on the basis that copper oxide mineralisation, at the time that Gold Fields Namibia Limited was exploring, was not conducive to good metal recover. Today however, flotation processing has the capacity to recover economic quantities of oxide and sulphide copper in parallel in the same flotation processing plant making any shallow mineralisation a valid target for development. African Pioneer will test the shallow mineralisation potential over a strike length of approximately 1 kilometre and down dip of the gossan outcrop to the point where historic drilling occurs.

Assessment of Gold Grades in Historic Drill Core

Approximately 80 drillholes have been found that were completed by previous explorers including Gold Fields Namibia Limited. The Company intends to resample the drill core in and around the mineralised horizon in each case in order to assess the distribution of gold attributable to the existing Mineral Resource Estimate.

Historically limited gold assaying was undertaken, so only low-grade gold values have been reported as any grade less than 1g/t Au was considered insignificant, particularly when exploration was being undertaken by South African companies more used to significantly higher gold grades on their deep level gold mines and as a consequence, only. At the current gold price, and in conjunction with known copper grades, there is scope for an important by-product addition of gold in the Mineral Resource. A greater density of gold assay data covering the existing Mineral Resource generated by resampling of available core has the scope to add to the value of each tonne of ore defined to date.

For further information, please contact:

 
African Pioneer Plc 
 Colin Bird 
 Executive Chairman                      +44 (0) 20 7581 4477 
Beaumont Cornish (Financial Adviser) 
 Roland Cornish                         +44 (0) 20 7628 3396 
Novum Securities Limited (Broker) 
 Jon Belliss                             +44 (0) 20 7399 9400 
 
   or visit   https://africanpioneerplc.com/ 

Qualified Person:

The technical information contained in this announcement has been reviewed, verified, and approved by Colin Bird, CC.ENG, FIMMM, South African and UK Certified Mine Manager and Director of African Pioneer plc, with more than 40 years' experience mainly in hard rock mining.

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("UK MAR").

Glossary

A 'Mineral Resource' is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form, grade (or quality), and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade (or quality), continuity and other geological characteristics of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge, including sampling. Mineral Resources are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories.

An 'Indicated Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape and physical characteristics are estimated with sufficient confidence to allow the application of Modifying Factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.

An 'Inferred Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade (or quality) are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade (or quality) continuity. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

   "Ag"       Silver 
   "Au"      Gold 
   "Cu"       Copper 
   "g/t"      grammes per tonne 
   "Kt"        thousand tonnes 
   "Mt"      million tonnes 

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END

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