Discovery Nickel Limited, the giant metals miner, is set to list on Botswana Stock Exchange this week as it is embolden by its finds in Maun and Dikoloti – near Tobane in the Bobirwa area.
The mining company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, said Friday that it would make a dual listing on Wednesday.
“ A significant addition to the company’s portfolio in 2005 was the Maun Copper Project in NW Botswana. This project comprises seven prospecting licenses covering an area size of 6333 km2 within the Kalahari Copper Belt,” the company said.
The move comes at a time when nickel prices have gone up 308 percent from the 2001 largely powered by the booming Chinese economy as producers are failing to meet the demands.
And analysts from Standard Bank pointed out in August this year that there might be a global nickel deficit triggered by disruptions in other parts of the world.
The Kalahari Copper Belt is an extension of the Zambia Copper Belt, which stretches into some parts of Botswana going as far as into the Ghanzi area. The area was previously prospected by other mining and prospecting mining outfits such as Anglo-Vaal and US Steel International who were looking for giant mining operations in excess of 200 million tones of medium and low grades.
However, at the time it turned out that the deposits could not mined with the operation of that size – due to technology that was used then – and that the area’s frustratural development was seen wanting.
Last week, Discovery Nickel Limited said it was upbeat about the prospects of an open pit mine in the areas, which will later extend into an underground mine, as the finds in the area are greater than originally thought. It also stated that the current infrustractural development is of higher standard and area is easily accessible to habour in the neighbouring countries.
“ Significantly, world copper prices have improved changed dramatically since the 1990s when the majority of the earlier work and assessments were undertaken. There have also been improvements to local infrastructure (roads and power) which could significantly enhance the current economics of any mining operation in the region,” the company said.
The company also engaged Snowden to complete the assessment of its copper-silver mineralization for Zeta project and G Grid North and South, which are within the same area, which found out that there are some deposits. The finding through the use of hi-technology established that the deposits were of a higher grade.
“In recent years, new geological models have been developed for the formation of Zambian style copper mineralization and in particular better understanding has developed as what controls the higher grade sections of these copper deposits,” the company said.
Regarding the Dikoloti project Discovery Nickel said it had discovered “a thickened and wide range of nickel mineralization in the northern section of the inferred resource and the same time Snowden was retained as a consultant.
The mineralization extending northward which initially estimated at 1.2 million tones pushed up to 4.1 million tones at 0.7 percent nickel, 0.5 percent copper and 1.2 grams per tones for platinum and Group elements at a cut off of 0.5 nickel.
Given that scenario, the potential of an open pit mine is potentially mine able, which will be closely followed by an underground mining.
“ A total of 2.3 million tones at an average of 0.54 percent nickel and 0.33 percent of copper. The mining grade assumed was 500,000 tonnes per annum giving the life of 4.5 years,” the company said.
It added: “ The positive outcome from Dikoloti Preliminary Mining Assessment indicated that infill drilling within the defined inferred nickel resource was warranted.
“Samples of disseminated nickel mineralization and massive nickel mineralization were submitted for a range of floatation tests in order of determine could be produced of similar character to that of BCL Limited’s nearby concentrator facility,” it added.