The Sampleu Nickel-Copper project is located in the Ivory Coast, west Africa. Mineralization occurs in ultramafic and mafic rock and in the overlying laterite soils. It is 2/3 owned by Sama Resources (TSX:SME) and SODEMI, the state owned mining company. Sama is responsible of 100% of the exploration costs to feasbility. The company has recently filed a National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report outlining inferred and indicated resources for the a portion of the project area. Sama owns a similar project directly across the border in the neighbouring Republic of Guinea.
Archean aged (~2.8 billion years old) high grade metamorphic rocks dominate the region. This archean basement rock is largely overlain by tropical laterite soils. A series of later ultramafic to mafic intrusions are the source of the mineralization.
The ultramafic and mafic intrusions that host the nickel, copper and minor PGM mineralization occur in lenses intruded into existing metamorphic rock. Mineralization occurs as both disseminated (dispersed) and massive (solid) sulfides. The nickel occurs primarily as the nickel-iron sulfide, pentlandite, while the copper occurs as the copper-iron sulfide chalcopyrite. Laterite soils overlying the mineralized intrusions are also mineralized as ultramafic and mafic ore rocks are generally more prone to erosion and weathering.
Despite the well known political instability of many African nations, the lure of vast untapped resources and cheap labour is hard to resist. The main criticism that might be leveled against the company at this point is the very low cut-off grade of 0.1% nickel used in their technical report. While a 0.1% cut-off is not without precedent, similar mines using these cut-off grades are currently on “care and maintenance”. That said, the Samapleu project hosts some respectably high grade nickel, copper and PGM zones with lots of room for further extension of the identified resources.
Sama Resources (Corporate Site)
SODEMI (Corporate Site)