Considering the volatile and uncertain global economic and investment outlook, Orion has undertaken the following actions:
- In line with its overarching commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of its people and the community at all times, Orion has proactively implemented work-from-home protocols (wherever possible) from 13 March 2020 and continues to work closely with relevant authorities and key stakeholders to minimise risk and harm for all;
- Orion has implemented cost savings and asset preservation initiatives across its business. All work sites have been closed and secured, and staff and contractors have been sent home until further notice;
- Desktop work to finalise the updated Feasibility Study Report for the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province is currently being completed by the study team working remotely; and
- Orion has re-evaluated the process and timing of its project finance activities in relation to the development of the Prieska Project. This has resulted in the postponement of debt financing activities until global macro economic and market conditions stabilise, such action having been taken (and continuing to be taken) in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations and, where necessary, in consultation with the applicable regulatory authorities.
Orion’s key focus is the optimisation studies for the development of the Prieska Project.
Following the completion of the Prieska Project BFS in June 2019, Orion has been progressing optimisation studies and preparations for mine construction.
The outcomes of these studies are currently being incorporated into updated operating plans which will support the updated Feasibility Study Report and determine the final finance and business case.
Orion is targeting the completion of all technical and engineering work by early Q2 CY2020 in order to present and demonstrate the positive impact of the optimisation work.
In parallel with the completion of BFS optimisation studies, Orion is also having exploratory discussions with parties, who have the potential to enhance project value through the introduction of a project-level strategic equity partner/investor in the Prieska Project.
Orion’s MD and CEO, Errol Smart, comments:
“While we have made the decision to postpone debt financing activities for Prieska until global market conditions stabilise, we are fortunate that Orion will shortly be finalising its active Feasibility Study work and permitting activities, with a resultant reduction in spending requirements.
“We will be able to weather the storm by dramatically reducing spending, while preserving a top-class, build-ready base metal project that can be activated as soon as global manufacturing and metal demand re-commences.”