Orion Minerals has added new assets to its Northern Cape, South African copper mines to revive Okiep copper sites and increase its production.
The Okiep project, could become the company’s second base metal production hub in Northern Cape, alongside its Prieska Copper-Zinc project.
A total of SAR76.5mn ($53.4mn) is being invested in this project, which comprises SAR18.4mn in cash settlements and SAR58.1mn in ordinary shares. The assets include the acquisition of the mineral rights and other assets from Southern African Tantalum Mining, Nababeep Copper Company, and Bulletrap Copper.
These entities hold most of the large, historical mines in the district, with production volumes of over 1.81mn mt of copper over a 150-year period ending 2003. Errol Smart, Orion’s chief executive officer, stated that previous owners have produced between 27,216-36,287mt annually. The mineral rights are inclusive of several existing drilled copper ore bodies with decline mine access and services.
Production at the site is expected to begin within 16 months of construction and Orion is negotiating with the OCP group in regard to advanced funding. Smart added that the company’s objective is for OCP’s future production to add to Prieska’s expected production of 19,958mt of copper and 63,503mt of zinc per year.