The Lightning Project is situated within the North Western zones of Tigray Province in Northern Ethiopia, approximately 280km due North West of Mekelle which is situated 780 km north of Addis Ababa. The nearest town to the license is Shire Enda silassie. There is a daily flight from Addis to Shire and to Axum with Ethiopian Airlines.
Access to the project area is through Shire-Adi nebried-Adi hageray (100km) asphalted road where the village is located at the southern margin of the proposed licensed area. Shire and Axum town have hotel accommodations, shopping, banking and any related facilities
The objective of the company is to study and evaluate the Gold and Base metal mineralization potential for the project area by employing advanced exploration methods in order to rapidly target, explore, evaluate, development and production of gold and base metal mineralization in the project area.
Geological work in northern Ethiopia dates back to the 19th century where Blanford (1870) described the exposures of low grade metavolcanic and metasedimentary assemblages, the Palaeozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary strata and the Cenozoic volcanic rocks of the region. Blanford's work was taken further by Dainelli in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s during which he compiled the geological map and report of the Horn of Africa, published in 1943. Dainelli's work was significant not only as a compilation but also for the remarks he made concerning transgression and regression of the Indian Ocean and sedimentary deposits which were deposited during the Late Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic times in the Horn of Africa.
The Geology of Ethiopia by Mohr (1967) was based on the works of Dainelli and others, of course, with details of his own observations, especially, on the rift valley volcanics and tectonics. Mohr (1967) described the details of the geology of the country including the present study area. Later, in late 1960's and early 1970's, the pioneering works of Kazmin (1971, 1975), Levitte and Hailu (1969), Beyth (1971), Dow et. al. 1971.
A regional airborne geophysical survey was conducted by Hunting Geology and Geophysics Ltd. in 1971 over a large portion of the Tigray Greenstone Belt. The results of the survey were encouraging surrounding the Asmara deposit, however lack of geological knowledge of most of the area inhibited the usefulness of the survey and limited follow-up was conducted. In 1985, a regional gravity survey funded by the Sweden Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC) was conducted along drivable roads at 5km stations. The results were discontinuous due to lack of drivable roads in most of the region and no follow-up was conducted.
The results of preliminary stages of these workers were included in the 1:2,000,000 geological map of Ethiopia compiled by Kazmin (1972), Detailed works, at much larger scale (mainly directed to mineral exploration) were conducted in many parts of northern Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys (e.g. Abraham, (1979); Morton, (1981)). These data were not published and not incorporated in the recent edition of the geological map of the country. Therefore, the early works still remain as standard references to the general geology of the region.
The Ethiopian Institute of Geological Survey (EIGS) conducted reconnaissance and follow-up prospecting for precious and base metals during 1991-1993. The exploration work returned encouraging results which led Ezana Mining Development Plc. (EMD) to acquire exploration licenses in 1993. In 1997, the EIGS produced a 1:250 000 scale geology map of the area between Axum and Shiraro which covers 9600 km2. In 1996, EMD and Ashanti Gold Fields (AGE) signed a Joint Venture Agreement for exploration of base and precious metals in the region. The most detailed exploration of the belt occurred under this license which lasted until 1998. Ashanti terminated the agreement at the onset of the Ethiopian-Eritrean war in 1998 and EZANA retained most of the licenses.
Tarekegn et al (1997) compiled the geology of the Axum map sheet at scale of 1:250,000 and classified the geology into six tectono stratigraphic blocks, namely from west to east Shiraro, Adi Hageray, Adi Nebrid, Chila, Adwa, and Mai Kenetal blocks. Since 2000, a lot of exploration companies have carried out exploration works in the region.
Generally, conclude that, the previous work and other related data for this exploration work program as follow :
All the above previous exploration work, additional field data assessment and artisanal mining activities of the area and its vicinity ignites Parellel Mining Corp.decided to invest on the gold and base metals exploration work for potential gold and base metals deposit discovery in the proposed concession
The Tigray Region is the most northern in Ethiopia, bordering Eritrea. It is part of the low grade meta-volcano- sedimentary Neoproterozoic basement of the Nafka Terrane of the Arabian Nubian Shield (Alene et al., 2006). It was formed during the closure of the Mozambique Ocean and the accretion of several volcanic arcs (900- 500MA), and the intrusion of syn and post- tectonic granitoids at 800, 750 and 500 Ma (Tadesse et al, 2000). The main rock types of Tigray can be broadly divided into four units (Tadesse et al. 2003):
The Tigray Greenstone Belt is believed to be a composite of at least 4 tectonic blocks referred to from east to west, as the Adwa block, the Adi Nebrid block, the Adi Hageray block and the Shiraro block with Phanerozoic cover. The Parellel Mining Corp. Proposed license is centrally located on the Adi Hageray block and the edges of the Shiraro and Adi Nebried block.
The Project area lies within the Precambrian (Late Proterozoic) Tigray Greenstone Belt, which strikes N-NNE across the region. The Precambrian rocks of the license and the surrounding areas are dominantly underlain by Adi Zibay rock groups and in a small area in the west, by Shiraro rock groups and rarely to the east by adi Nebried block and zagir mafic ultramafic belt. The Adi Zibay block lies west of the Adi Nebrid block. It consists predominantly of southeast-dipping, extensively deformed, thick greenschist facies meta sedimentary and metavolcanic rocks. The dominant rock types are metasediments including undifferentiated, water-laid tuffaceous metasediments (mainly chlorite-sericite schist), greywacke, conglomerate, and slate, impure marble and calcareous siltstone (Figure 3).
A systematic style of exploration is proposed by the company for this area of Ethiopia which is considered a worldwide standard in project structure.
It should be noted that for a successful completion of the proposed three-year plan, each consecutive year operations are always subject to favorable gold and base metal mineralization obtained from previous work assessment, geological mapping, geochemical sampling; stream sediment sampling, soil sampling, rock chip; trenching, ground geophysics, and drilling with sample preparation and sample analytical methods will be performed in the three-year exploration period.
The company will attempt to locate all gold and other valuable minerals sources of mineralization within the proposed area. Important previous activities in the region have indicated quartz vein, shear zone hosted, alluvial gold deposits, and other deposits. Mineralizing structures, alterations and general areas of mineralization can be located using historical maps, exploration reports, inspection of old workings, information from local population, and field-based activities will begin to focus exploration activities to certain areas. Experiences gained from previous years of exploration activities, local miners, and the project developer will be able to identify geology, alteration features and structures that controlled mineralization of the area and finally ready for further development and production stages.