On March 14, 2019 Dalares was granted the Exploration License No. 45 – EL for the hard-rock minerals by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the term of six (6) years. The Kene License area includes nine (9) exploration block claims for a total area of 20.1 km2.
Kene site is geographically located in the Ulan administrative rayon of Eastern Kazakhstan Province, in the northern slope of the Kalbinsky ridge lowlands, to the west from the Karaburgali National Park. The absolute elevations reach 600-800 m with relative altitudes of 50-150 m. Waterflows within the area represented by Isyr and Kenebai creeks joining the Sibinka River, the left-bank tributary of the Irtysh River. The nearest village is Bayash Utepov, located 6 km to the south-east of the Kene License Area.
For the first time the rear-metal mineralization (Ta, Sn) was identified in 1971-1972 as a result of the comprehensive geological and geophysical surveying by O.K.Averin and L.F.Knyazwv, et al (so-called Kenebai ore occurrence). In 1974-1975 the group of geologists E.P. Pushko, K.K.Murtashin, et al as a result of prospecting works discovered a linear type pegmatitic field primarily represented by a series of albite spodumene pegmatite veins containing tantalum and tin.
The extensive Soviet exploration activities targeted tantalum and tin discoveries due to low demand for lithium by the Soviet industry. One of the key prospecting criteria for tantalum and tin discovery by Soviet geologists was the presence of albite spodumene pegmatites. It is worth noting that in the geological logs for pegmatitic veins it is indicated that spodumene (main lithium mineral) is contained almost in all pegmatites of the Kene area and very often constitutes the main ore-hosting mineral (up to 70 – 80% of the pegmatitic vein composition).
During the detailed assessment of the historical geological reports available to Dalares, the geologists identified the zone of the top priority and of an utmost interest for the first-line exploration — the zone of expanding albite spodumene pegmatites characterized by thick and vast lithium mineralization (historical data indicates up to 8,675 ppm of Li2O grade, which the highest documented grade in the historical drillhole С-506 in the depth of between 115 m and 175 m with albite spodumene pegmatite veins of up to 8 m thickness (‘The Priority Zone’). This zone reaches 1,200 m along the vein strike and in the projection onto the horizontal plane reaches the width of ca.300 m.
Regional and Project Geological Setting
- Both License areas are confined in the Karagoin-Saryozek Rare Element Pegmatite Zone (60×10 km) which is a part of Kalba-Narym Metallogenic Belt (800x50km). The Kalba-Narym Belt (“KNB”) as well Karagoin-Saryozek Zone (“KSZ”) is well known for the wide distribution of rare element pegmatites with numerous deposits of tin, tantalum, tungsten, beryllium and lithium.
- KNB is one of the provinces of Rudniy Altai, a part of the Grand Altai Mountains. The KNB stretches to the north-west for more than 800 km with the width from 20 to 50 km. The structure is limited by deep regional faults from the north and the south accordingly. The KNB by its geological nature is the terrain drifted in the Paleo Asian ocean toward the Grand Altai megastructure integrated in the Hercynian Orogenic period. Contrary to the other Altai belts, KNB is the rare element (Li, Sn, Be, Ta, Nb, Cs and W) pegmatites belt associated with the Permian granite intrusion.
- KSZ is located in the south-western part of KNB consisting of Late Devonian – early Carboniferous terrigenous sedimentary rock formation intruded by two phase Permian granites. This Zone is primarily dominated by lithium presence among other KNB zones associated with extensive distribution of albite spodumene pegmatites.
- The documented history of geological studies goes back to the period between 1911 and 1917 when first Karagoin and Urunkhai tin deposits were discovered (Kotulskiy V., 1917). During the Soviet time (1930 – 1990) extensive geological studies took place. Numerous surveys, prospecting and exploration campaigns rushed for tantalum and tin allowed to discover almost one hundred rare-element deposits and around twenty of them were subsequently put into operation (mining and processing) . The unique vertically integrated Belogorskiy Metallurgical Refinery Plant was built by Soviet mining and metallurgical engineers with the full operational cycle from mining to final metal and chemical products.
- Detailed description of the KNB and KSZ Geology and its settings may be easily found in the extensive publicly available geological publications, monographs, articles and papers. The main geological publicly available publications are as follows:
→ The USSR Geology, volume 41 Eastern Kazakhstan, Moscow, Nedra, 1967-467 pages.
→ Grand Altai (Geology and Metallogeny) in 3 volumes, Shcherba G.N., Almaty, 1998.