In May 2014 BHK Mining Corp. executed a definitive agreement with Silver Bull to acquire its subsidiary Dome Ventures and the Ndjole Project for US$1.5 million.
The Ndjole Project (Project) was originally acquired by Dome Ventures SARL and in 2009, through their TSX-V listed company Silver Bull Resources Inc. (Silver Bull), entered a joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti to prospect the Project for gold. Previous exploration included some 26,000 soil samples analyzed for multi-element geochemistry, in addition to airborne geophysical surveys (magnetics and electromagnetics) covering the prospective area. Early stage core drilling that targeted gold anomalies, encountered significant high grade manganese (“Mn”) intersections (4.5 metres @ 45 wt% MnO). AngloGold Ashanti withdrew from the JV due to the perceived magnitude of the gold anomaly.
The BHK Phase One exploration program commenced in late January of 2015. The program includes auger drilling and pitting on traverses over the previously discovered mineralization (North East) to establish size and continuity of the manganese horizons. Refurbishment of existing logging roads and re-establishment of field camps are an integral part of the Phase One program. Subsequent to the auger program, and based on results, a diamond drilling program will be implemented to obtain accurate grade and width information, and to test down dip extensions of the surface mineralization.
Manganese is an essential industrial metal used in the manufacture of steel and non-ferrous alloys. The addition of manganese removes impurities such as sulfur and oxygen and improves the strength, hardness and abrasion resistance of steel. It takes 10 kg of manganese alloy to produce 1 tonne of carbon steel. Annual world production includes:
There is steady growth of carbon steel production, primarily driven by China, with low volatility. There is supply side pressure building due to concentration of manganese resources in four major countries: China, South Africa, Australia and Gabon. Chinese manganese mines are closing, as they are frequently small, low grade, underground operations with rising costs. The large South African mines are under pressure due to labour and political issues.