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Metal Tigers exploration in motion

Aim-listed investment company Metal Tiger has reported the latest assay and drill-hole intersection results for the T3 copper and silver project in Botswana. The report states an indication of open pit expansion potential.

Metal Tiger, whose aim is to deliver a high return for shareholders by investing in significantly undervalued and/or highly prospective opportunities in the mineral exploration and development sector timed to coincide where possible, with a cyclical recovery in the exploration and mining markets. Metal Tiger holds a 30 percent interest in the projects, with the balance owned by Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed MOD resources.

The company has noted that as it continues to make good progress with the T3 open pit feasibility study, it is pleased to report that the preliminary results from the T3 Phase 2 infill and expansion case drilling programme is very encouraging. It has cited that the progress is evidence that the overall mineral resource at T3 can be increased. Metal Tiger Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael McNeilly said that the progress is a confidence booster to the open pit expansion case ore processing model.

The CEO highlighted that as the T3 open pit feasibility study progresses, the company is pleased to report that the preliminary results from the T3 Phase 2 infill and expansion case drilling programme which are very encouraging. McNeilly further highlighted that there is potential that the overall mineral resource at T3 can be increased and he is said to have given confidence to the open pit expansion case ore processing model.

Drilling results will also feed into the feasibility study to help increase confidence in the T3 expansion case model, which has been assuming ore processing  at a rate of 2.5-million tonnes a year for about three years before ramping up to 4-million tonnes a year for eight years, and to help with mine schedule modeling.

He added that preliminary modeling shows that the total mineralisation intersected by drilling to date extends well outside the resource announced on August 24, 2017. The CEO, noted that the company looks forward to the results of the next resource upgrade scheduled for early June, with the intention to convert additional inferred mineral resources to the indicated and measured categories and increase the overall resource size.

The Phase 2 drilling at the T3 copper /silver deposit began on August 7, 2017, with approval granted for the recommencement of both diamond core (DC) and reverse circulation drilling at the T3 project and its vicinity, through to December this year. This is said will include up to 70 planned DC drill holes designed to infill the current resource and test for possible extensions.

The objective of the infill programme will increase geological confidence and upgrade categorization of the T3 resource. The programme also includes grid drilling to investigate the potential for an underground resource down-dip and along strike from the planned open pit, and to investigate geophysical targets.

The T3 Scoping Study the company notes is the first detailed study to be completed for the T3 Copper-Silver Project. The further noted it was undertaken to determine the potential viability of an open pit mine and sulphide flotation processing plant constructed onsite at T3 and to reach the decision to proceed to the PFS which commenced in early 2017.

The Scoping Study is equivalent to a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), a low level technical and economic assessment that is not sufficient to support the estimation of ore reserves, further work is required before Ore Reserves can be defined to provide any assurance of an economic development case

The T3 Project has a current which was reported in August 2017 had a Total Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate comprising of 36.0 Megaton (Mt) at 1.14 percent copper (Cu) and 12.8 grams/tonne (g/t) of Silver (Ag) containing approximately 409 kt copper and 14.8Moz silver. The current Resource constitutes a 27 percent increase in Total Resource tonnes and a 16 percent increase in contained copper compared with the maiden Resource at 0.5 percent Cu cut-off grade. A quarter of the Total Resource tonnes are in the Measured Resource category 8.9 Mt at 1.27 percent Cu & 12.5g/t Ag, denoting a high degree of Resource confidence at 0.5 percent Cu cut-off grade.

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Stargems Group establishes Training Center in BW

20th March 2023

Internationally-acclaimed diamond manufacturing company StarGems Group has established the Stargems Diamond Training Center which will be providing specialized training in diamond manufacturing and evaluation.

The Stargems Diamond Training Institute is located at the Stargems Group Botswana Unit in Gaborone.

“In accordance with the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) which holds the principle that through education and skills development as well as the strategic alignment between national ambitions and individual capabilities, Botswana will become a prosperous, productive and innovative nation due to the quality and efficacy of its citizenry. The Training Centre will provide a range of modules in theory and in practice; from rough diamond evaluation to diamond grading and polishing for Batswana, at no cost for eight weeks. The internationally- recognized certificate offered in partnership with Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School presents invaluable opportunities for Batswana to access in the diamond industry locally and internationally. The initiative is an extension of our Corporate Social Investment to the community in which we operate,” said Vishal Shah, Stargems Group Managing Director, during the launch of the Stargems Diamond Training Center.

In order to participate in this rare opportunity, interested candidates are invited to submit a police clearance certificate and a BGCSE certificate only to the Stargems offices.  Students who excel in these programs will have the chance to be onboarded by the Stargems Group. This serves as motivation for them to go through this training with a high level of seriousness.

“Community empowerment is one of our CSR principles. We believe that businesses can only thrive when their communities are well taken of. We are hoping that our presence will be impactful to various communities and economies. In the six countries that we are operating in, we have contributed through dedicating 10% of our revenues during COVID-19 to facilitate education, donating to hospitals and also to NGOs committed to supporting women and children living with HIV. One key issue that we are targeting in Botswana is the rate of unemployment amongst the youth. We are looking forward to working closely with the government and other relevant authorities to curb unemployment,” said Shah.

Currently, Stargems Group has employed 117 Batswana and they are looking forward to growing the numbers to 500 as the company grows. Majority of the employees will be graduates from the Stargems Diamond Training Center. This initiation has been received with open arms by the general public and stakeholders. During the launch, the Minister of Minerals and Energy,  Honorable Lefoko Moagi, stated that the ministry fully endorses Stargems Diamond Training and will work closely with the Group to support and grow the initiative.

“As a ministry, we see this as an game changer that is aligned with one of the United Nations’ Six Priority Sustainable Development Goals, which is to Advance Opportunity and Impact for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). What Stargems Group is launching today will have a huge impact on the creation of employment in Botswana. An economy’s productivity rises as the number of educated workers increases as its skilled workmanship increases. It is not a secret that low skills perpetuate poverty and widen the inequality gap, therefore the development of skills has the potential to contribute significantly to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and helping the country become more competitive. We are grateful to see the emergence of industry players such as Stargems Group who have strived to create such opportunities that mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy,” said the Minister of Minerals and Energy.

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Food import bill slightly declines

20th March 2023

The latest figures released by Statistics Botswana this week shows that food import bill for Botswana slightly declined from around P1.1 billion in November 2022 to around P981 million in December during the same year.

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Moody’s Reaffirms African Trade Insurance’s A3 Rating & Revises Outlook to Positive

13th March 2023

Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) has affirmed the A3 insurance financial strength rating (IFSR) of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) for the fifth consecutive year and changed the outlook from stable to positive.

Moody’s noted that the change in outlook to positive reflects the strong growth in ATI’s membership base – that has resulted in improved portfolio diversification, strengthened capital adequacy, and the good profitability despite the challenging operating environment. In addition, ATI benefits from its preferred creditor status (PCS) amongst sovereign member states which protects it from the risk of default by member sovereigns through securing recoveries against claims paid on guarantees.

The strong membership and equity growth are some of the key considerations for the consistent reinstatement of ATI’s A/Stable rating by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating, over the years. Also supporting the rating affirmation are; consistent improvement in financial performance, commitment of its shareholders who continue to uphold the preferred creditor status, its high quality and conservative investment portfolio as well as strong relationships with a number of global reinsurers that provide significant risk-bearing capacity.

With the change in outlook to “positive”, ATI is now better placed to provide enhanced support to its member countries, attract additional shareholding and grow its portfolio. The positive outlook is an indication that if ATI continues to demonstrate its strong underwriting performance and ability to recover claims under the preferred creditor arrangements, among other factors, an upward pressure towards an upgrade may be generated. The Moody’s press release can be accessed from here

Commenting on the rating, Africa Trade Insurance Chief Executive Officer Manuel Moses said: “This positive revision is in line with our 2023 – 2027 strategic objectives in which we set to improve our rating outlook to positive in the first year, and achieve an upgrade of at least “AA”/Stable rating by both Moody’s and S&P within this Strategic Plan period. We aim to achieve this by doubling our exposures and increasing our capital to more than USD1 billion.”

ATI’s mandate is to provide trade-credit and political risk insurance, as well as other risk mitigation products to its member countries and related public and private sector actors. These insurance products not only directly encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as well as local private sector investment in our member countries, but also contribute to intra- and extra-African trade.

About The African Trade Insurance Agency 

ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides Political Risk, Credit Insurance and, Surety Insurance. Since inception, ATI has supported US$78 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa. For over a decade, ATI has maintained an ‘A/Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor’s, and in 2019, ATI obtained an A3/Stable rating from Moody’s, which has now been revised to A3/Positive.

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