Cape Lambert Resources, an Australian resource and investment company, will form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with Paragon Mining to develop the Kipushi cobalt copper tailings project, the Kasombo copper-cobalt projects and operate the Kipushi processing plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The joint venture agreement with Paragon Mining is a major milestone for the company and follows a period of extensive legal and technical due diligence in the DRC by our consultants and management team,” says Cape Lambert Resources executive chairman, Tony Sage.
“The JV sets a clear path for Cape Lambert Resources to now reposition itself as a cobalt concentrate producer at a time when cobalt continues to benefit from significant growth in demand and substantial price increases.”
“We believe that this JV and our involvement in these advanced cobalt projects will provide significant value to the company, its shareholders and all stakeholders.”
DRC cobalt JV
The JV with Paragon Mining includes the Kipushi cobalt tailings project (Kipushi) and the Kasombo copper-cobalt project (Kasombo). Both projects are located in the Katanga Copperbelt, the location of some of the world’s largest and highest grade copper and cobalt mines.
The projects are approximately 25 km from the DRC’s second largest city Lubumbashi that is accessed by a well maintained sealed road. The projects benefit from excellent, established infrastructure. Lubumbashi is the main service centre for the cobalt and copper mining industry in Haut-Katanga Province.
Kipushi is located on mining license PER 12347 and Kasombo, comprising three projects located on granted mining licenses PE 4886 and PE 481 respectively. It is a condition precedent of the JV that these licenses are transferred to the newly incorporated JV company. It is proposed that tailings from Kipushi and hard rock material from Kasombo is processed through the Kipushi processing plant is located approximately 8 km by road from Kipushi on PE 4886.
Kipushi processing plant
As part of Cape Lambert Resources’ technical due diligence, a detailed review of the Kipushi processing plant and the metallurgical test work previously undertaken is on-going. The processing plant, which was constructed at a cost of approximately US$20 million, is a conventional flotation plant with a throughput of 150 tph.
Kipushi cobalt tailings project
Further test work is on-going to determine the final concentrate specifications and to determine the process plant optimisation work to now be implemented by Cape Lambert Resources. The Kipushi tailings extend for over 1.2 km in length and over 400 m in width. The tailings have a maximum depth of approximately 12 m in the centre of the tailings dam and 5 m at the boundaries of the tailings dam, with average depths of about 8 m.
Cape Lambert Resources will now also proceed and complete a shallow drilling programme to allow a JORC 2012 compliant resource and reserve to be determined for Kipushi.
Cape Lambert Resources will use the results of the drilling programme and resource and reserve work to finalise the proposed mine plan and schedule for Kipushi.
Kasombo copper-cobalt project
Kasombo is part of the Kasombo Complex, a series of copper-cobalt rich deposits that have been extensively explored by Gecamines and developed and mined by various international companies in joint venture with Gecamines. Paragon has now exercised its option with Gecamines.
The option now extends over Kasombo 5, 6, 7. Paragon Mining elected to acquire Kasombo 5 instead of Kasombo 12 – given the more advanced nature of Kasombo 5 and the extensive historical work completed by Gecamines on the project.
Kasombo 7 is located on PE 4886, which is where the Kipushi processing plant is located. Kasombo 5 and 6 are contiguous to and south of PE4886.
Cape Lambert Resources will now allocate its technical and financial resources to complete further exploration and feasibility study work on Kasombo in order to meet the JV objectives of completing a feasibility study and development decision.
Cape Lambert Resources believes that these opportunities provide shareholders with a near term cobalt production asset and three highly prospective hard rock copper-cobalt projects at a time when cobalt prices exceed $55 000/t and major mining companies are aggressively acquiring cobalt projects in the DRC.
All images from Cape Lambert Resources