Khoemacau Copper Mines this week announced a watershed financial boost that will kick start construction of its Copper Silver Project located in North East district of Botswana.
On Monday the company, owned by Cupric Canyon Capital announced the successful signing of US$565 million (around P 5.9 billion) capital injection, as funding package to commence development of the project to unearth high grade copper and silver concentrate. According to a statement released by the company on Monday the US$565 million of funding includes a US$275 million (P2.9 billion) senior debt facility from Red Kite Mine Finance and a US$265 million (P2.8 billion) silver stream from Royal Gold AG a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Gold, and a US$25 million (P263 million) subordinated debt facility also from Royal Gold.
Khoemacau explains that the Project Funding Package will be used for construction of the company’s 3.6 million tonne per annum Starter Project at Khoemacau processing ore from a 91 million tonne resource1 at a head grade of 2.02 percent copper and 21.4g/t silver copper. The direct construction cost of the Starter Project is US$397 million over a two-year construction timeline. First copper concentrate production is expected in the first half of 2021, with initial annual production averaging 62,000 tonnes copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver,” reads the statement from the company.
Cupric Canyon has been developing the Khoemacau Project, a 4,040 square kilometre land package in northwest for the past 6 years. One of the deposits within the Khoemacau Project, Zone 5, was initially discovered in 2012 and has since become the flagship deposit after being acquired by the company in 2013.
According to the statement, since acquiring deposits the company has drilled 285,000 metres, completed permitting and land access agreements, secured the required power and water, and undertaken advanced engineering, procurement and mobilization such that it is ready for full construction release of the Starter Project, pending closing of the Project Funding Package. In 2015, the company acquired the Boseto assets a previously operated copper project adjacent to Zone 5 following liquidation of Australian outfit Discovery Metals.
This acquisition offered the company access to the 3.0 million tonnes per annum Boseto processing facility located 35 kilometres from Zone 5 along with extensive infrastructure, and various mineral resources and licenses. Since acquisition, the Boseto assets have been incorporated into the Starter Project development plan.
Khoemacau Mining also states that the Starter Project development plan now involves the fully mechanized underground mining of sulphide ores at Zone 5 at a rate of 3.6 million tonnes per annum using the upgraded Boseto processing facility for crushing, milling, flotation and production of a high-grade copper silver concentrate. The Starter Project is expected to produce a high quality copper concentrate with an average grade of approximately 40 percent copper and high-grade silver.
This according to information from the company will results in annual average production of 62,000 tonnes copper and 1.9 million ounces silver per annum over a 21-year mine life. The average life-of mine C1 cash costs, net of silver by-product credits, are US$1.47/lb at consensus pricing and US$1.67/lb including sustaining capex, and before accounting for the silver stream.
Chief Executive Officer of Cupric Canyon Capital Johan Ferreira explained in the statement that the deal is expected to be closed early in the 2nd quarter of 2019 adding that the construction phase is expected to run for two years pushing the Starter Project to produce first concentrate beginning in the first half of 2021, with subsequent ramp-up.
He further added that after closing the Project Funding Package, in addition to advancing construction of the Starter Project, the company will also upgrade the existing Expansion Project pre-feasibility study to a definitive feasibility study. The Expansion Project includes the construction of a new 5.8 million tonnes per annum processing facility near Zone 5 which will produce approximately 100,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
“Securing the Project Funding Package by partnering with two of the industry’s leading global providers of mine finance, Royal Gold and Red Kite, allows us to move forward energetically with all project development activities,” he said.Furthermore Ferreira added that his company will continue exploration on the Khoemacau land package with a focus on the existing high-grade Zone 5 North and Zeta Northeast discoveries, which are envisaged to be processed at the existing Boseto processing facility along with other proximal deposits.
“This step marks the completion of a remarkable evolution of the company from discovery of Zone 5 in 2012 to full construction of a high-quality copper asset in 2019. Being able to commence the development of a large scale fully mechanized mine and deliver high quality jobs and sustainable development in the Kalahari Copper Belt reflects not only the quality of the mining environment in Botswana but also the strong support of Government towards foreign investment and new mine development,” shared Johan Ferreira.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.