The Boseto copper
project in Botswana
 
Perth, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 September 2010 – Construction of Botswana’s next copper mine could be started by ASX-listed Discovery Metals before the end of the year, with a probable decision to mine following completion of a bankable feasibility study (BFS).

Addressing the Africa Down Under conference here, Discovery MD Brad Sampson said the Boseto mine “’ situated about 100km from Maun in north-western Botswana “’ would cost an estimated US$175million (R1.3 billion).

That estimate excluded the mining vehicle fleet which would be leased, as well as a proposed 24MW coal-fired power station which Discovery wanted to build near the mine at a cost of about US$40 million (R300 million).

Sampson said the capital cost would be funded 60% through debt and 40% by equity. Talks were already underway with banks to raise the debt, as well as with the Botswana government for the granting of a mining licence and a permit to build the power station.

The mine would be Botswana’s largest copper operation, producing some 34 400t of copper and one million ounces of silver annually. In terms of the BFS the mine would have an economic life of 5 years purely as an opencast operation. Sampson said this estimate excluded ore currently classified in the inferred resource category, which could extend the life of Boseto to some 15 years.

Power would be provided initially from diesel generators with the coal-fired power station expected to kick-in from mid-2013. Sampson said coal-fired power would dramatically reduce the mine’s electricity costs.

“The power station would be sited close to the Boseto mine and we would truck in the coal which is available at low cost in Botswana. We would need about 60 000t to 70 000t annually.”

Assuming construction started before the end of the year, the Boseto mine would come into production during the first half of 2012.