In September 2017 TSXV-listed diversified junior mining company Tango Mining successfully completed an agreement in Angola from which it aims to complement its existing diamond portfolio and ensure a significant increase in the company’s total diamond production within the short-term future, writes Sascha-Lee Solomons.
Tango Mining recently announced signing a three year renewable services agreement for mining and marketing of diamonds with Txapemba Canguba R.L (Txapemba), a semi-industrial diamond exploration co-operative located in the Lunda Norte province in Angola.
Txapemba was approved for an 84 km2 concession for the exploitation of semi-industrial diamonds within the Luembe River basin.
The property is located near the community of N’zagi and 95 km south east of Dundo – an area that has in the part produced alluvial diamonds and remains well-known for both alluvial and kimberlite diamonds.
Samer Khalaf, CEO of Tango Mining notes, “that Txapemba is the perfect project for the company to take on, fitting in with the company’s pattern of mining alluvial properties.”
He explains that Tango Mining will, over the coming months, complete a full geological assessment of the property and plans to commence the purchase and marketing of diamonds produced from the property and alluvial diamond production as soon as practical.
He adds that the mine life has not yet been established, “but Txapemba will most likely have a 60 tph plant incorporating a dense medium separation (DMS) recovery circuit and should begin production in the first quarter of 2018,” the CEO notes.
Khalaf points out that Tango Mining will be responsible for capital expenditures associated with design of the plant and acquisition of necessary mining equipment and will be the sole operator of Txapemba.
He adds that as remuneration, the company will be receiving 60% of the proceeds from the sale of produced stones.
In addition, Khalaf mentions that community benefits and social programmes are core to Tango’s strategy, across its investments.
The Txapemba project will grow the company’s head count by at least 45 employees with potential for more employment, skills development and community upliftment as the project progresses.
“This project is potentially capable of producing tens of thousands of carats per annum,” Khalaf highlights.
Existing diamond production
Tango Minings’ portfolio also comprises of Oena diamond mine – an alluvial diamond property situated in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
Oena is 8 800 ha in size and covers a 4.8 km wide section along a 15 km length of the Orange River.
Its high quality diamonds fall within the top 10 percentile of diamond production worldwide.
The property has seen several methods of exploration and mining activities that started in 1992 by independent mining companies who mined the proto‐terraces at the Oena section until 1995, producing some 30 000 carats with an average stone size of some two carats.
The largest stone recovered was 79 carats.
The Oena property was a New Order Mining Lease (the “ML”) that was granted for the recovery of diamonds.
The Oena Mining License (ML 7/92) was originally issued in 1992 and converted to a New Order Mining Lease (MPT24/2014MR) in 2009 and was valid until April 2015.
The ML is currently the subject of a renewal application which will extend the lease term to April 2045.
“We launched Oena in December 2016 with a mine life of over 10 years and most recently had to temporarily suspend operations while we transition between mining contractors – after which we will own the processing equipment, together with our new partner” adds Khalaf.
Operations at Oena are expected to re-start in mid-December where after the company is expecting to realise a significant increase in production.
He adds that increased production will have an impact on mining operations requiring more shifts, more tonnage to be mined, and Tango Mining will also be processing old tailings as well as fresh gravel.
As part of Tango’s social responsibility and community development, Khalaf says that Oena currently have around 15 employees at the camp and expect the number to double to 30 as capacity is increased by the end of the year.
Furthermore, in terms of current operations at Oena, Khalaf notes that management have identified that the biggest risk in advancing this project is associated with the resource performance (grade) and product assurance (theft), both of which require the company to source appropriate diamond recovery technology to ensure optimal recovery of diamonds.
However, Khalaf notes that risk mitigation through future implementation of BVX technology will increase diamond recovery efficiency as a result of up to 98% recovery and technology that limit human interaction with the final product.
Geared for further growth
Khalaf asserts that there are many under-valued diamond companies trading on several exchanges across the globe.
“But regardless of the current pressure the industry is experiencing, I am confident that the diamond industry has a bright future as investor sentiment improves.”
For this reason the company anticipates participating in a number of other projects through acquisitions and joint ventures in 2018 with the ultimate intention of growing its diamond production further.
This article first appeared in the November edition of Mining Review Africa, click here to read the magazine.
Feature image credit: Wikimedia