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Samapleu Nickel Copper Project, Ivory Coast

Overview

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.

Regional Geology

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.

Project Geology

A core sample consisting of massive sulfides from the Samapleu Ni-Cu Project

A core sample consisting of massive sulfides from the Samapleu Ni-Cu Project

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.

Discussion

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.

Further Reading

Sama Resources Press Release Reviews

Sama Resources (Corporate Site)

SODEMI (Corporate Site)

Technical Report on the Samapleu Nickel and Copper Deposits (43-101)

About Christopher Rawluk

Christopher Rawluk holds degrees in both Geology and Environmental Science from the University of Manitoba in Canada and has worked in both mineral and petroleum exploration. He has been developing and publishing online for more than 15 years and is the President of showtheplanet inc.