Orion Minerals has entered into an agreement giving it exclusive rights and a clear pathway to acquire and consolidate a significant interest in an extensive copper mining complex, the Okiep Copper Complex (OCC).
Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Orion’s MD and CEO, Errol Smart, says:
“This is a unique opportunity to acquire a dominant position in a historic world-class copper mining district – an exceptional growth and diversification opportunity.
“We believe that the complementary combination of the advanced Okiep Copper Complex with our flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project will transform Orion into a significant base metals mining house, accelerating our journey to become a major producer in the Northern cape region.
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“The option, if exercised will deliver Orion a 56.25% stake in South African Tantalum Mining, alongside South Africa’s highly-regarded Industrial Development Corporation, which will hold 43.75%, plus, we will hold 100% of two other companies with adjoining prospecting rights.
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“Between them, these companies control a significant majority of a major copper-producing district that has produced more than 2 Mt of copper over a 150-year period to 2003.
“This production history was dominated by Newmont, which produced up to 40,000 tpa of copper before exiting South Africa in 1984. We believe that subsequent owners Goldfields and Metorex never really maximised the value of the assets, and the result is a richly endowed copper complex with numerous fully-developed dormant mines and large, shallow deposits with extensive historic (non-JORC) resource estimates.
“Given the shallow nature of many of the deposits – many of which have been extensively drilled out – we see an outstanding opportunity to fast-track resource delineation and feasibility studies to underpin near-term production.
“Our immediate focus will be to upgrade the existing SAFTA resources and Feasibility Study to JORC status, which we anticipate will be a relatively quick and cost-effective process.
“If due diligence confirms the Sellers’ projections, we are confident that this project, with a Mining Right under application, can deliver production within 18-24 months as per the submitted mining works program.
“Should this work be successful, production from OCC would supplement Prieska’s forecast production of 22 ktpa of copper and 70 ktpa of zinc. This would transform Orion into a substantial base metal mining house with two operating hubs in Tier-1 mining districts in the Northern Cape.
“We are very excited about the synergies and opportunities that we expect to flow from this potential acquisition, and we are looking forward to completing due diligence and moving ahead with this significant growth opportunity.”
The OCC is located approximately 570 km north of Cape Town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
This potentially significant growth opportunity could become a future second base metal production hub for Orion alongside its flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project (Prieska Project), located 450 km east of OCC.