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Orion and Byrnecut collaborate at copper-zinc project

ASX/JSE-listed Orion Minerals has concluded a MoA with Byrnecut Offshore envisaging an alliancing agreement for underground mine development and production at the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project.

The agreement follows the announcement of the grant of the Mining Right for the Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine and paves the way for Byrnecut to bring the benefit of its experience to the development and operation of the Prieska Project which is intended as a global-best practice mechanised mining operation.

Key terms of the Agreement are that Orion and Byrnecut will seek to enter an alliancing agreement related to underground mining at the Prieska Project, whereby Byrnecut:

  • undertake to provide underground mine development and mine production services
  • commit to promoting local employment and skills transfer in support of transformation of the industry; and
  • commit to collaborating with local BEE enterprises, in line with Orion’s commitment to the progressive transformation and modernisation of the South African mining industry

Orion Minerals signs pivotal BEE transaction

Formalising the Agreement is one of the key project development milestones that follow the release of the positive BFS for the establishment of high margin and long-life underground mining operations at the Prieska Project.

The planned Foundation Phase of operations would result in the mining and processing of 2.4 Mt a year of run-of mine feed for 10 years, to sell approximately 21 Kt of copper and 70 Kt of zinc as differentiated concentrates each year.

Other post-BFS workstreams in progress to prepare the project for execution include third-party peer reviews of the BFS in preparation for funding discussions, the value engineering of components of the BFS, mine-to-market business plan optimisation using the Whittle Enterprise Optimisation process, pilot-scale water treatment field trials of the water accumulated in the underground excavations and the expedition of the various ancillary licences required to operate a mine.

Substantial progress is being made in all areas.