Suricate Minerals, a privately-owned Mauritanian group specialising in natural resource exploration and development, is making steady progress in mapping its permit sites in Mauritania and aims to accelerate its project pipeline this year.
The group’s current exploration campaign focuses on establishing a definitive resource size for deposits containing gold and copper, nickel and cobalt. “We are also continuing work on our quartz concessions, which contain high-grade quartz silica,” says Ahmed Hertani, executive director at Suricate Minerals.
Its primary permits are situated in Tasiast in north-west Mauritania, about 200km from the Port of Nouadhibou. The permits are located in the mineral-rich Aouéouat greenstone belt of the Reguibat shield. Suricate Minerals has conducted considerable geophysical and geochemistry testing at various sites to date, with positive results verified by German materials testing and analysis company Dorfner Anzaplan.
“Our work revolves around exploration for gold and base metals in particular such as copper, nickel, sulphate and cobalt, as well as quartz concessions of high purity and quality. This is particularly for niche applications such as the engineering grade quartz stone, silicon metals, optical and foundry industries,” says Hertani.
The Mauritanian Ministry of Oil, Energy and Mines said at a recent mining investment seminar held in Nouakchott that, in order to create the conditions for optimal investment in Mauritania, the government has adopted a strategy to modernise and develop mineral resources via an incentive-based mining code, a favourable competitive environment and the construction of basic infrastructure, coupled with an emphasis on good governance.
Hertani cautions that the cyclical nature of the mining economy has hampered the speed with which Suricate Minerals has been able to explore and develop its project sites. However, despite these challenges, it is committed to continuing work on its project pipeline.
“We are not just seeking any partners to assist in the development of our projects, but partners that have a proven track record in the mineral resources sector such as established mining houses, private equity firms, venture capitalists, global engineering firms and project developers,” he concludes.