Investment company Charter Pacific Corporation (ASX:CHF) is moving closer to defining drill targets at its Kaoua El Khadra iron ore project in Mauritania, which has an iron ore Exploration Target of up to 4.4 billion tonnes.
Now Mauritania is no stranger to large iron ore deposits being un-earthed, including GlencoreXstrata 2.5 billion tonne Lebtheinia Iron Deposit, after its $514 million acquisition of ASX listed Sphere Investments.
Societe' Nationale Industielle et Miniere' (SNIM) is producing around 15 million tonnes of iron ore per year from Zoueratte, north-northeast of Charter Pacific's Kaoua prospect.
Interestingly, for logistics watchers, Zoueratte also operates the longest iron ore train in the world between Zouerate and Nouadhibou in Mauritania.
TransAfrika Resources has an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of iron formation identified on the Kaouat Iron Ore Project, south of Charter Pacific's Kaoua's project.
Exploration at Kaoua El Khadra
Regionally, Charter Pacific's exploration looks to have high hopes. Satellite imagery has been used to define further the Banded Iron Formation (NYSE:BIF) units on the Exploration Permit, also known as 792 B1.
In fact, the satellite imagery has extended the interpretation of BIF at the sites and has identified BIF units previously unknown.
Particularly so at the site 10 Ijibbitene complex in the eastern end of Permit 792.
SEMS Exploration used the data to further define the Banded Iron Formation (BIF) units at sites 4, 5, 9 and 10.
The results provide a refined base for planning of the next phase drilling program and further confirmation of the continuity of the BIF through the sand dune terrain.
The Ground Penetrating Radar (NYSEMKT:GPR) provided reflective signals down to a depth of 20 metres. This confirmed the continuity of the BIF to these depths and interpretations beyond the range of the GPR detection.
Proposed drilling will test the BIF well below this depth in the down dip extensions.
Further refinement of the proposed drilling program for Permit 792 in terms of timing of commencement will be provided.
Africa shaping up as iron ore's next hot spot
Last month, China's Tianjin Minerals reported it would pay $990 million for a 16.5% stake in a Sierra Leone iron ore mine, which values African Minerals Ltd's (LON:AMI) Tonkolili mine at $6 billion.
The Tonkolili mine has a defined 12.8 billion tonne JORC resource - one of the largest magnetite deposits in the world.
With drilling on the cards at Charter Pacific's Kaoua El Khadra; recent work is honing in on targets it could be about to get interesting - particularly with China and India looking to gain a foothold on iron ore deposits at an early stage.
Which places Charter Pacific in an increasingly strong position with the location and potential of its Kaoua El Khadra iron ore project with an Exploration Target of up to 4.4 billion tonnes. Which implies a valuation for Charter Pacific significantly higher than it's tiny market cap. of just $5 million would suggest.