Castillo Copper (ASX:CCZ) is adding five new copper projects in Zambia to its portfolio in its bid to elevate its profile in the red metal, which by all accounts is tipped to go for a run very soon.

The projects cover more than 1,000 sq km in Zambia, which Castillo says advances its “three-pillared” strategic plan to transform the company into a mid-tier copper miner.

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The assets come from Zed, a minerals explorer that Castillo is acquiring in full.

The first project to be developed, the Luanshya project, is located in Zambia’s traditional copper-belt along a key north-west structural trend known as the Lufilian Arc.

Then there’s the Mkushi project, which fortuitously surrounds an operating open-pit copper mine, in a region proven to be highly prospective for copper and gold mineralisation.

Castillo says development work on the remaining ground will start “in due course” but previous artisanal mining operations at the Lusemfwa project indicates outcropping copper mineralisation already.

Zambia is one of the safest countries for mining in Africa. It maintains the lowest level of risk on the Australian government’s Smart Traveller website, though the government recommends reconsidering a need to travel to border areas within the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Mozambique.

Copper is also a strategic mineral to Zambia given its material contribution to exports, GDP and employment.

Rob Scott, Castillo chairman, said the Zambian assets complemented the company’s current Cangai copper mine and Mt Oxide project.

“The board is delighted with the proposed acquisition of a highly prospective tenement package in Zambia. All the key ingredients are now in place to move forward with the board’s three pillared strategic intent to transform CCZ into a dual-listed, mid-tier copper group,” he said.


In other ASX base metals news today:

Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL) unearths nickel mineralisationGeophysical surveying at the company’s Lantern prospect in Western Australia’s Fraser Range has defined a large-scale conductor prospective for Nova-style nickel mineralisation. Follow-up aircore drilling is planned for September.

Todd River Resources (ASX:TRT) releases mineral resource estimateThe maiden estimate for the Hendrix zinc-copper-lead deposit at its Mt Hardy project in the Northern Territory shows 2.6 million tonnes at 10.5 per cent zinc-equivalent, containing more than 22,500 tonnes of copper, zinc and lead.

Drilling to begin this month for PolarX (ASX:PXX). Drilling at the Saturn copper‐gold porphyry target within its Alaska Range project will begin during the month of July. An initial program comprising up to 10 deep holes at Saturn for a total of ~5,000m has been agreed upon.