KEFI Minerals Waits For The Snow to Melt

By Rob Davies

There is a lot of high and mountainous ground in Turkey and right now most of it is covered in snow. Unfortunately, it is in those high and mountainous areas where KEFI Minerals has its best prospects and it can’t get its drills in until the snow melts in the spring. However, managing director Jeff Rayner and his team are not wasting time over the winter. He explained to Minews that unlike most countries Turkey does not require exploration companies to file data after they relinquish a property. Therefore there is very little geological data held centrally by the government.

Kefi was smart enough to buy the database compiled by Nuigini Mining when it was working in Turkey and that gives Jeff a head start when he gets an inquiry from small local miners and explorers offering him their properties.  Last year he said they looked at over 100 properties and visited 30 of them in the field. That universe has been narrowed down to two or three properties that have a high priority.

In the shorter term Kefi’s main focus is to start drilling its two best prospects at Artvin in north-east Turkey and Derinin Tepe in Western Anatolia. Both these are snow bound at the moment as they lie at altitudes of over 1,000 metres.  Jeff hopes drilling can start at Derinin Tepe in March and Artvin about a month later in April. Derinin Tepe was mined by the Romans using a primitive method of cut and fill mining. The rock was broken by lighting a fire next to it then dousing it with water and Jeff says the scorch marks are still visible. Another method used was to insert wood into cracks then soak with water to make it swell. To use the fire method the Romans had two accesses, one by an adit and one by a shaft and Jeff believes they went down to about 60 metres.

Last year’s drill programmes was curtailed by a lack of water at 50 metres. This year’s campaign will go deeper using angle holes from surface and he has high hopes for some bonanza values. Mining has been carried out at Artvin for several hundred years with evidence of numerous base metal workings in the area. Jeff believes the area is very prospective for both VMS and porphyry copper style deposits. A fact confirmed by the Cayeli mine not far away on strike to the west and that Xstrata is believed to have a porphyry copper on a property on the western boundary of Kefi’s property.

The Artvin discovery was made in a roadside cutting and is now estimated to be 1.5 kilometres long and one kilometre wide. Soil sampling has thrown up anomalous values of 2 g/t and rock chips have returned up to 8 g/t.  Drilling a fence of RC holes across the property will give Jeff and his team the data they need to narrow down their search.

Lying north of Artvin is a large zone of alteration which KEFI Minerals will investigate using electromagnetics as it goes deeper than induced polarisation surveys.  Aster imagery does not work in this region because it is well-wooded but a large magnetic anomaly is indicative of an intrusion at depth.  Everyone is keen for spring arrive, but KEFI Minerals has better reasons than most to hope for an early thaw so that it can get out and start drilling and exploring all these leads.