The local moneyed institutions ? assets management companies ? this week jumped to the expectations by pumping in over US $ 2 million into the junior miner Discovery Metals Limited, which is eyeing to develop its copper and nickel finds at Dikoloti and near Maun.
Two assets management companies, Investec Botswana and Fleming Assets Management, injected US 2.044 million for an equity swap that firmly entrenches the would-be pensioner as stakeholders in the local economy.
Discovery Metals? Managing Director, Jeremy Read, said the cash will be used to do additional work at its resources in Dikoloti and Maun projects.
?We have a very strong commitment to Botswana and have worked on developing strong relationships with the Botswana financial community who have always been supportive towards the progress of our projects.
?The company is extremely pleased to have secured these investments with two premier Botswana financial institutions and we are looking forward to further enhancing our commitment to Botswana. These investments represent a strong vote of confidence in the potential of our copper and nickel investments in Botswana and we can now develop these projects with additional vigour,? Read said.
Discovery Metals had issued 8,891,260 shares at US $ 0.23 per share as part of its capital raising exercise. Investec got 7, 133,008 shares while Fleming snatched the remaining 1,778,252 shares.
The Australian Stock Exchange and Botswana Stock Exchange listed company is embolden by its finds 80 kilometres from Maun and Dikoloti ? near Tobane in the Bobirwa area.
?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 power 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 ? which is near Maun ?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 they could not handle an operation of that size ? due to technology that was used then ? and that the area?s infrastructural development was seen wanting.
Discovery Metals has said that it is looking at the prospects of an open pit mine in the areas which will later extend into an underground mine as the finds are greater that originally thought. It also stated that the current infrastructural development are of higher standard and are easily accessible to habour in the neighbouring countries.
?Significantly, world copper prices have improved and 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 the Zeta project and the G Grid North and South, which are within the same area where some deposits were found. 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, at the same time; Snowden was retained as a consultant.
The company said recent results from heap-leach option for nickel mineralization from Dikoloti inferred nickel resource of 4.1 metric tonnes at 0.7 percent Nu at 0.5 Ni curt-off are under investigation.
It added: ?The positive outcome indicated 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 to determine if the product could be of similar character to that of BCL Limited?s nearby concentrator facility,? it added.