The Kombat Mine is one of the most significant copper mines in Namibia. It originally commenced mining in 1962 and operated until 2008, producing 12.46 million tonnes of ore grading 2.6% Cu over this period.
The Kombat Mine’s extensive infrastructure includes an 800 meter shaft, which was completed in 2006, two other vertical shafts, three decline shafts with ramp systems, extensive underground workings, mine buildings, a tailings facility, a mill and concentrator.
The mine is linked to vital existing infrastructure, including power, water, roads, and rail with close proximity to the port of Walvis Bay and to one of only five commercial-grade smelters in Africa located in the town of Tsumeb.
Production at Kombat dates back to the early 1900’s when copper ores were first extracted from high-grade underground and near surface deposits. These early discoveries resulted in the modernization of the project in the 1960s by Tsumeb Corporation Limited (TCL) with the addition of several shafts, and a mill and concentrator.
In 2000, Ongopolo Mining and Processing Limited acquired the project and in 2002, started to sink an 800-metre shaft into the Asis Far West area specifically to target the intersection of the known down dip extension of the existing Kombat ore bodies. The Asis Far West shaft was developed to complement the limited surface exploration drilling, which indicated a highly prospective extension of the existing ore bodies. This shaft is a valuable asset that will significantly reduce the timeframe required to attain commercial production.
In 2006, the Kombat Mine was acquired by Weatherly International plc, which commissioned the Asis Far Westshaft and operated the mine and mill until January 2008 when low copper prices and a power outage that resulted in underground flooding resulted in the closing of the mining operations. The mill and shaft equipment were placed on care and maintenance.
Trigon Metals (formerly Kombat Copper Inc) acquired 80% of the mine and related assets in 2012.
Kombat lies on the Northern Carbonate Platform of the Damara Orogen. The Platform consists of a thick sequence of Otavi Group carbonates deposited upon Nosib and Basement rocks during the late Proterozoic to early Phanerozoic periods (500-550 Million years ago).
Stratigraphically, both the Kombat and Tsumeb deposits lie very near the top of the carbonate pile, at or near or the unconformable contact between the underlying Otavi Group dolostone (Huttenberg Fm) and the overlying Mulden Group shale/phyllite (locally known as the Kombat Fm).
Generally, alteration precedes ore deposition with de-colourizing of dolostone from outward movement of argillaceous and carbonaceous inclusions, followed by bleaching and final calcitization and Mn alteration. Two hundred to 300 metre wide zones of calcitization flank ore lenses, generally with a fine to medium-grained, saccaroidal texture. Silicification is not as prominent as calcitization, but contributes locally to mineralization (as noted in core). Fe-Mn is often associated with intense calcitization in areas proximal to ore and may also contribute to mineralization.
- The mineralized ore bodies at Kombat are associated with “roll” structures as shown on the left.
- The copper ore body is in red, the “sandstones” in yellow and the Mn-Fe body in purple.
- The ore bodies are not at right angles to the bedding surface nor do they occur everywhere but only on the “rolls” nor are they in the phyllite piercement structures.
- The origin and location of these “rolls” have important implications for the mineralization at Kombat.
Exploration & Geography
The Company reported high grade copper and silver results from its diamond drill core re-sampling program from the historic Asis Far West (“AFW”) mineralized zone in 2015.
The best result to date is from AW101A returning 10 meters of 8% copper and 124 g/t silver, including 6 meters of 13% copper and 205 g/t silver and 1 meter 30% copper and 457 g/t silver. The table below lists the balance of significant assays.
The AFW Zone was the primary copper and silver target when the Kombat Mine was closed in early 2008. Deep diamond drilling programs carried out from surface had defined a series of mineralized blocks up to 900 metres below the surface and 1.5 km along strike from the main Kombat Mine workings representing the western edge of the continuation of the main Kombat mineralized zone which lead to the sinking of the modern production shaft to provide a platform for continuing exploration and development underground in order to economically expand the resource block.
Significant intercepts from the re-sampling program are listed in the following table:
|Hole||From (m)||To (m)||Width (m)||Width (m)||Ag (g/t)|