Discovery Metals Limited (DML) Finance Manager, Mokwena Morulane, has said the commissioning of the Bosetu Copper Project Concentrator (BCPC) in June 2012 would pave way for initiating projects associated with the Mine’s strategic growth plan.
According to Morulane, the P250 million Concentrator, including associated equipment, would move forward the Mine’s strategic growth plan in four operational phases.
These include delivering of Boseto into production and scaling up and increasing the Mine life; identifying and developing additional Kalahari Copper Belt opportunities referred to as Boseto 2 and Boseto 3; identifying value-added southern African projects encompassing the Kalahari Manganese; and developing a broader geographic and metal base.
Giving a DML company snap shot during the June 26 to 27 Botswana Resources Conference held in Gaborone, Morulane said: “We got our mining licence in 2010, commenced open pit mining in December 2011 and commissioned the Concentrator this June. We are now able to dig up the Cu/AG ore and process it into a concentrate. We have an off-taker arrangement with Transmine, a Swiss company with offices in Johannesburg, SA, who take the product to the market. Although we are on budget and within the operational time given to shareholders in 2010, the accommodation and village development are still in progress. They should be ready for occupation soon after completion.”
The Finance Manager said Boseto’s value-add and expansion involves the commissioning of a coal fired power station. To date the application for the environmental permit will be submitted in the third quarter of 2012 with completion expected this July.
Currently recruitment is ongoing for the development team of the Zeta Underground Mine, which is progressing for decline development to commence fourth quarter of 2014.
As part of the expansion plan, new mineral resources have been identified at Selene, Plutus Deep, Zeta Ne and Mango. New ore reserves have been reported at Zeta Underground and the initial development plan for 50 000 tonnes of Cu production target is expected end of 2012.
However, there were key challenges to live up to which include the availability of skilled labour resources. Currently Botswana is confronted by a finite labour market and limited pool of skilled people.
Although there have notable improvements in the processing of Work & Residence Permits, there is need for further streamlining. With regard to operational readiness, shortages in the availability of spare parts and consumables and other supply chain constraints being situated in a remote location in north-west Botswana, approximately 80 kilometres south-west of Maun and the lack of oil, equipment and maintenance (OEM) support in Botswana pose insurmountable bottlenecks.
Work on the accommodation facilities in Toteng, part of the mining operation, has experienced delays in land allocation of 7 months. Currently, staff is temporary accommodated in Maun.
DML which started operating in Botswana in mid 2004 is dual listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and foreign board of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). DML subsidiary, the Bosetu Copper Project is 100 percent citizen owned.
Bosetu Mineral Resources, Bosetu Ore Reserves and Selene Mineral Resources hold 131 Mega tonnes (MT) at 1.3 percent Cu and 16.2 grams per tone (g/T) Ag; 29.1 Mt at 1.4 percent and 19.8 g/t Ag; and 16. Mt at 1 percent Cu and 15.9 g/t Ag, respectively.
The Mine enjoys tremendous growth potential with 18 prospecting licences in the Kalahari Copper Belt and sustained regional explorations.
Bosetu, has nearly 500 employees and a scheduled mine life of 15 years. Opportunities exist to expand Bosetu to have multiple open pit and underground operations and a scheduled life exceeding 25 years. The growth is dependent on delivering planned financial outcomes and maintaining the strategic growth plan.