During the last quarter, Orion entered into an agreement giving it exclusive rights and a clear pathway to acquire and consolidate a significant interest in an extensive copper mining complex, the Okiep Copper
Project (OCP), located approximately 570km north of Cape Town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Under the agreement, Orion has an exclusive option acquire a 56.25% interest in Southern African Tantalum Mining (SAFTA) – alongside Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) with 43.75%, 100% of Nababeep Copper Company (NCC) and 100% of Bulletrap Copper Company (BCC).
These entities, hold the mineral rights to the majority of the large historical mines of the Okiep Copper Company, which historically produced more than 2Mt of copper metal from a significant copper-producing district in the Northern Cape Province, ~570km north of Cape Town.
The OCP includes several unmined, drilled copper deposits – some with outcropping mineralisation and many with underground mine access declines and shafts in place. The current owners have completed resource estimates and a scoping-level Feasibility Study that Orion will subject to due-diligence scrutiny until 31 July 2021.
Based on in its initial investigations and based on the Sellers’ estimates, Orion believes there is an opportunity to restore mining at OCP to historical production levels when it was operated by Newmont, establishing a second base metal production hub that could supplement production of copper and zinc concentrates from Orion’s flagship Prieska Project, located 450km east of OCP.
Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, said: “The March Quarter was a transformational period for Orion Minerals with a number of a highly significant developments across our business at an extremely opportune time in the demand cycle for future-facing metals required from producers with high ESG standards, for the impending global energy transition.
“The key highlight was without a doubt, the signing of an Option Agreement over the Okiep Copper Project (OCP), providing us with a unique opportunity to acquire a dominant position in a world-class copper mining district.
“It’s been a case of the right deal at the right time and in the right place for Orion, with the transaction having been warmly received by investors around the world at a time when the global pipeline for near-term production opportunities in the copper sector is almost empty.
“The OCP has strong operational synergies with our existing flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project and will provide an outstanding platform to develop a second base metals production hub in South Africa’s Northern Cape.”