The South African Department of Mineral Resources has granted ASX-listed Orion Minerals, through its subsidiary, Repli Trading No. 27, a mining right for the Prieska Copper-Zinc project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.
According to Errol Smart, managing director and CEO of Orion, being awarded the mining right clears the way for construction to commence at Prieska. The mining right is valid for an initial period of 24 years and can be renewed on application for further periods, each of which may not exceed 30 years.
Smart says that Orion has achieved several milestones in the 16 months since the submission of the application, including the announcement of a pivotal black economic empowerment partnership, the upgrading of Prieska’s mineral resource to a globally significant VMS Resource of 30.49 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.2% Cu and 3.7% Zn and the completion of the Prieska Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).
“Our strategy to deliver a substantial new base metals mine at Prieska is rapidly gaining momentum. Receiving the mining right is a major milestone in the development of the project and the award of this permit is testament both to the vision of the Orion leadership team and to the support of the South African authorities for new investment in a modernised mining sector.
The Prieska Project represents a valuable strategic asset in the global base metals sector, being one of the few permitted mid-tier base metal development assets well positioned to move into development and production. Our timing with this project could not be better – demand for copper is expected to soar over the next decade on the back of transformational growth in the electric vehicle and green energy sectors,” says Smart.