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Rio Tinto commences exploration on Solwezi copper project

Midnight Sun Mining Corp. is pleased to announce Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Limited have commenced their initial 2021 exploration campaign on Midnight Sun’s Solwezi Licences in Zambia. Rio Tinto is in Stage 1 of the previously announced Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement.

The initial 2021 work program budget is US$3,200,000 and is expected to be completed in late June. Results of this exploration work will dictate the additional budgets for 2021.

Rio Tinto’s planned initial work includes:

  • 4,000 metres of diamond and 1,900 metres of air core drilling on the Mitu trend;
  • 1,200 metres of diamond drilling to test high grade copper anomalies, identified in the Q4 2020 air core drill program, on the north side of the Solwezi Dome at the Gameno (formerly Kifubwe) Prospect; and
  • 1,600 metres of reverse circulation and 1,000 metres of air core drilling, and further mapping at Dumbwa to test a 10+ kilometre copper soil anomaly.

Rio Tinto’s Q4 2020 exploration work focused on strengthening their geological understanding of the Solwezi Licences. Emphasis was placed on identifying and modeling the geology of the Kazhiba Dome which underlies the 22 Zone, where an overturned Upper Plate and upright facing Lower Plate are separated by a mafic breccia. This geology appears similar to what is observed at the Kansanshi Mine. The work completed during this program included:

  • The reanalysis of previous air core drill samples over the Kazhiba Dome and adjacent areas;
  • 129 air core drill holes drilled on a 500 metre x 500 metre grid over the entire Kazhiba Dome;
  • The air core programme included 29 air core holes tracking an audio-frequency magnetotelluric geophysical line towards Basement and testing a mineral occurrence at the Gameno (formerly Kifubwe) Prospect;
  • The reanalysis of previous soil samples;
  • A 250 metre x 250 metre infill geochemical soil sampling grid; and
  • Six stratigraphic diamond holes, totalling 2,060 metres, designed to test the Lower Plate of the Kazhiba Dome for mineralisation.

Al Fabbro, President and CEO of Midnight Sun, stated, “After a lengthy rainy season and dealing with the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are excited for Rio Tinto to begin the 2021 work program. With the bulk of this initial budget committed to drilling, this has the potential to be a very pivotal season for Midnight Sun and the Solwezi Licences.”

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The Solwezi Licences are comprised of two individual exploration licences totalling 506 square kilometres, situated in the North-Western Province of Zambia on the prolific Zambia-Congo Copper Belt and adjacent to Africa’s largest copper mining complex, First Quantum’s Kansanshi Mine.

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