Emerging mining company Cupric Africa has amplified its ambitions to develop a new underground copper mining in Botswana, following a positive bankable feasibility study (BFS) which will map out progress at its Khoemacau copper/silver exploration project.
At the beginning of 2013, US-based Cupric Canyon Capital acquired all the remaining shares it did not already own in Canadian junior miner Hana Mining for C$67-million (approximately P66 million), taking control of Hana’s Botswana-based copper mining project in the Ghanzi copper belt.
Since acquisition of these shares, Cupric Africa has been pushing ahead with plans towards evolving into a copper producing company and starting the multimillion-dollar development of the subsequently renamed Khoemacau mine into an underground operation.
A press statement from Cupric Africa CEO Sam Rasmussen says that by July the company would be ready to unveil more accurate expectations of the emerging mine, its capacity and an updated mineral resource, as well as the design, construction and operational phases and the related development costs.
According to the press statement, a mining application had been submitted to the relevant authorities in Botswana authorities.
“The plan was to have the two-year construction activities kick off during 2016, with the mine to start production just in time to fill an expected copper deficit in 2018,” said Cupric Africa.
A 2010 National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource estimate for the project, undertaken by Hana Mining, showed an indicated mineral resource ÔÇô all from the Ghanzi copper belt zone ÔÇô of 585-million pounds of copper and 12-million ounces of silver from 19.7-million tonnes at a grade of 1.35 percent copper and 19.7 g/t silver.
The estimate also revealed inferred resources of 2.4-billion pounds of copper and 40.6-million ounces of silver from 91.2-million tonnes. The press statement explained that the company already had a strong presence in Maun, with about 60 mostly local employees, including administration support staff, human resources and engineers, besides others, already on the ground, as exploration drilling on site continued. The focus is now on completing the drilling programme and additional work for the BFS. The project is expected to further benefit from the 600 MW expansion of the government-owned Morupule B power plant, set to come on line by 2018, together with the proposed Trans Kalahari railway project, access roads, and water and power infrastructure expansions.