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Sipa Exploration Uganda Limited (SEUL), which is owned 100% by Sipa Resources Ltd commenced systematic field exploration at Kitgum-Pader in early 2013. Since that time SEUL has taken more than 60,000 geochemical soil samples leading to the discovery of numerous sulphide-derived base and precious metal prospects.
The ability to collect such a large number of samples in such a short time is testament to Sipa's innovative approach to exploration, the availability of skilled Ugandan labour, the effectiveness of being able to undertake commercial activities and the cooperation of all levels of government.
The Kitgum-Pader Project arose from two East African reconnaissance trips by the late Dr Nick Archibald and Mike Doepel in 2010 and 2011, seeking first mover belt-scale exploration opportunities. During 2011 new airborne magnetic/radiometric data sets were obtained for all of Uganda, Rwanda and Western Kenya. These were levelled and stitched to an older Tanzanian data set by Steve Massey, Principal Geophysicist of Spinifex Geophysics, and a comprehensive geological/geophysical interpretation was undertaken.
Figure 1: Project Location & Tenure.
Sipa benefits from the selective use of leading exploration geoscientific consultants:
This multi-disciplinary knowledge base has been a fundamental part of Sipa's exploration success over the past 25 years.
The Ugandan project is testament to Sipa’s history of greenfields discovery, this time essentially as a ‘first mover’ in a virtually unexplored terrane.
Historical Field Activities 2012-2013
Having effectively established a corporate entity in 2012, SEUL set about recruiting consultants, administrative, geological and support staff. A field base was established in Kitgum town, near the centre of the project and Sipa’s Senior Field Manager in Australia, Bill Willmott, was seconded to SEUL, appointed as a Director of SEUL, and took up residence in Kitgum.
Fieldwork commenced in early 2013 with consultations with various levels of Government and Community Sensitisation meetings to gain ground access and local community support.
Three teams of geochemical samplers started in February, and by December 2013 had taken about 30,000 reconnaissance-scale (1 kilometre by 100 metres) and 11,734 infill (200 metres by 50 metres) at 12 separate anomalies detected by the reconnaissance sampling, thus covering about 2,200 square kilometres.
The geochemical survey was designed and supervised by Dr Nigel Brand. All samples were analysed at the Kitgum base by portable XRF (pXRF), and applying Nigel’s statistical analysis, 1 in 8 samples were shipped to the accredited ACME Laboratories in Vancouver for wet chemical analysis for QA/QC purposes and to test for elements like gold, silver, cadmium and platinum group metals that cannot be accurately determined by pXRF.
During 2012-2013, Dr Nick Archibald undertook some 12 weeks of detailed and regional scale geological mapping and anomaly checking. Steve Massey provided geophysical interpretation assistance.
Tectono-metallogenic Setting of Kitgum-Pader
SEUL contracted Dr Jon Hronsky to provide opinions, and report on the tectono-metallogenic setting of Kitgum-Pader within the African continental context, and in particular provide a detailed assessment of the nickel-copper-PGE prospectivity of the project. Jon recognised that:
“This is a geodynamic environment closely analogous to that of the well mineralised PaleoProterozoic Thompson and Raglan Nickel Belts that formed on the margin of the Superior Craton in Canada”
Using recent mapping by the late Nick Archibald and GTK (a consortium of geological organisations from Germany, South Africa and Uganda, led by the Geological Survey of Finland), together with SEUL’s pXRF regional geochemical data and airborne magnetics and radiometrics, Jon Hronsky established a Lithological-Structural Sequence across the northern part of the Kitgum-Pader Project.
In early 2015 mapping and further detailed interpretation of remote data sets was conducted by Brett Davies and Russell Mason, resulting in a new interpretation essentially dividing the area into four lithostratigraphic domains.
Figure 2: New Lithostratigraphic domains interpreted by Davies and Mason 2015.
Importantly the Nyimur group and Burukung Ultramafics of Hronsky have been extended and are now interpreted to be part of the newly defined Aswa Greenstone Belt (Figure 3).
Figure 3: New Lithostratigraphic Interpretation (Davies and Mason 2015) showing Aswa Greenstone Belt and various prospects and anomalies.
The massive regional soil sampling program conducted from 2013 to 2015 (still ongoing) identified numerous base metal geochemical anomalies
A strong Zn, Pb, Cd, Ag anomaly over 1.5km was identified within the Kitgum Gneiss at Pamwa. Further regional sampling also defined over 75km of extensive zinc rich stratiform horizons, now named the Ayuu Alali horizons in the West Karamoja Group to the east. Combining the sampling with detailed mapping by Nick Archibald confirmed that a large part of the tectonostratigraphy did in fact have strong affinities with Broken Hill type mineralised systems. Dr Nick Archibald recognised for his expertise in continental to mine scale metallogenic understanding and importantly, completed a two year postdoctoral study at Broken Hill and later consulted to Pasminco on Broken Hill.
The soil survey has also identified two styles of Ni anomalies.
In the Karamoja Domain a number of intrusive related Ni-Cu anomalies similar to Akelikongo have emerged with the ongoing infill of high priority targets areas identified by prospectivity analysis of the entire geochemical database. Figure 4 below shows the regional targets around Akelikongo and the drilling which has occurred to date.
Figure 4: Ni ppm (XRF) in soils around Akelikongo Area.