In November 2016, CAML announced that the company had signed a framework agreement to acquire an 80% effective interest in the Shuak copper exploration property in the Akmola Oblast region of northern Kazakhstan. The subsoil use contract (SUC) was subsequently transferred to CAML in August 2017.
The project is approximately 300 kilometres north of the capital city, Astana, and 40 kilometres north east of the regional centre, Stepnogorsk. The licence area is 197km2 and hosts two mineralisation styles that are of particular interest to CAML. These are:
saprolite hosted oxide and enriched copper, gold and molybdenum mineralisation that may be amenable to copper production by solvent extraction – electro winning (SX-EW) processing, and;
copper, molybdenum and gold bearing dissemination and stockwork mineralisation of a porphyry nature.
In addition, there are widespread copper, gold, silver and molybdenum geochemical anomalies within the licence area.
The Shuak property was explored between 1973 and 1991, with historic work including geochemistry, geophysics, trenching and drilling at the site. During this time, over 45,000 metres of diamond holes were drilled and resource estimation to historic Soviet standards was undertaken. This demonstrated a pre-GKZ resource of over 300,000 tonnes of contained copper in various categories at one of the prospect areas, Mongol V.
Around 8km2 of metalliferous saprolite has been identified within the licence area, with thicknesses varying from minimal to in excess of 60m in depth. Most recently, former owners of the property undertook small scale mining at Mongol V and sampling of the stockpile generated from these mining activities demonstrated copper oxide grades in excess of 2% in several cases. Column leach testing of this saprolitic material at CAML’s Kounrad facility has shown it to be amenable to processing by leaching with dilute sulphuric acid, with copper recoveries of over 90%.
CAML has completed its 2017 Shuak drilling programme with 17,530 metres of core hydrotransport (CHT) drilling being undertaken, along with 5,242 metres of diamond drilling.
The 2018 exploration programme commenced in May and, since then, the 19,467 metre CHT drilling programme has been completed. The Kyzyl-Sor prospect has been identified as the key area of interest. Diamond drilling is currently underway that will primarily focus on this prospect.