Capital raise underway to advance copper-zinc mine in North Cape

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Orion Minerals is offering eligible shareholders an opportunity to subscribe for new shares in lots ranging from R20,000 to a maximum of R330,000.

The capital raise is being undertaken to finance Orion’s Prieska copper/zinc mine, listed in Sydney and Johannesburg, as well as other copper precursor and battery projects in the Northern Cape.

As reported by Weekly mining At the beginning of this month, only a small part of the equity is still needed for the restart of the Prieska copper/zinc mine, which the former South African miner Anglovaal discovered in 1968 and operated for 20 years.

The share purchase plan offering, which is expected to close on August 5, involves a capital increase in three tranches consisting of the issuance of up to 1,000 million ordinary shares at a price of issuance of 22c per share in the first two tranches, and the issuance of up to 151 million free peg options, together with a share purchase plan to raise up to $3 million.

The issue price represents a discount of 13%.

The targeted A$20 million will be used for mine dewatering and completion of feasibility studies for Prieska’s early production scenario, as well as advancing the feasibility study for the Okiep copper project and Jacomynspan’s nickel/copper/cobalt related battery precursor production test work/platinum group element project.

For the first three years, open pit and pillar mining will take place before entering the large 9m to 30m thick mineralization which is folded but easily mined under favorable mining conditions. Anglovaal mined 46 million tonnes of ore to produce 460,000 t of copper and one million tonnes of zinc at a depth of 970m.

Earlier this month, the CEO of Orion Errol smart told the Resources Rising Stars 2022 Gold Coast conference in Australia that the mine is capable of returning to production in 19 months after the green light for its reconstruction.

Some of the remaining nine million tonnes of pillars contain over one million tonnes in ore body thicknesses of up to 49 m.

A full bankable feasibility study of the fully licensed project has been completed and Orion could be on site immediately to begin construction of the Prieska project.

Thirty million tonnes of conforming resources have been explored, with downhole electromagnetic surveys showing that the ore body continues.

The challenge so far for the $100 million Orion was the initial calculation that $500 million would be needed to turn the project into an account. But that capital cost was reduced to $200 million by choosing to mine the open pit and pillars before going deep into the virgin deposit, which slowed down dewatering plans, which enabled the plant to be cut in half to 1.2 million tons per year. .

It was considerably easier to line up the $100 million company to fund the now $200 million project, with the first $140 million already secured through a streaming deal and dropping 4.5 % of revenue over 12 years to get another $87 million.

Additionally, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa has completed its due diligence, which is tied to $20 million from the IDC.

EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY IN CAPE NORTH

Smart, 55, a Boksburg-born University of the Witwatersrand graduate with a major in geology, was as a geological surveyor of the workings at the Vaal Reefs gold mine on the Far West Rand.

Smart began his presentation at the Gold Coast conference by highlighting the unique opportunity to work in South Africa’s Northern Cape, which accounts for 30% of South Africa’s land area while being home to just 3% of the South African people.

Although Orion’s OKiep does not currently produce any copper, it has a record of producing over 2.5 million tonnes of copper over the past century.

The North Cape sits in a prolific renewable energy belt and Orion has access to renewable energy, water and existing facilities in a brownfield development area with known accelerable mineral deposits.

Abundant solar and wind power is installed or under development, with large-scale green hydrogen and green ammonia soon to be added.

There is also significant potential for enrichment, highlighted by the ongoing battery precursor production test work on the Jacomynspan project.

Rapid development of clean enrichment technology coupled with unprecedented growth in demand for battery metal salts and specialty powders – battery precursor products – supports potential on-site production of value-added products that attract premiums high prices as fortified products.

Calculations indicate that mining cut-off grades can accommodate moderate-grade ores that contribute to what is required in integrated additive manufacturing processes.

Advances in technology and engineering have reduced capital and operating expenses by eliminating the need for traditional high-energy roasting and smelting.

Testing work and feasibility assessments are already underway on the modified carbonyl and chlorine vapor technology, and the modified derivation of process technology already in use at Vale’s Sudbury refinery in Canada, at the nickel Norilsk in Russia and Jinchuan Metals in China.

Deployment of near-zero emissions technology and low-energy waterless technology is under consideration.

The acceleration of three base metals projects towards first production is well advanced, as well as the financing and engagement of strategic partners in alignment with the new market dynamics for future metals.

Orion is developing on a fully integrated path, from exploration to mining and refining.

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