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African mining projects with an impact

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Khoemacau Copper Mining, has developed the impressive Khoemacau copper and silver mine in the most prospective area of the KCB. The mine is fully operational. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

African mining projects with an impact 

WhyAfrica has been tracking several mineral exploration projects, early-stage development projects and operating mines across Africa over the last three years. These are some that stand out. 

By Leon Louw, owner and editor of WhyAfrica

WhyAfrica featured many of these projects regularly under our Hawks Eye section in WhyAfrica’s bi-weekly newsletters. We also visited some of these projects during our 2022 WhyAfrica Southern Africa Road Trip. Below is a short list of the projects that I believe will continue making an impact in the African mining sector (please note that this list is not exhaustive, and I had to cut my initial list due to limited space)

  • Orion Minerals’ Prieska Copper-Zinc mine in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa: Orion recently announced that South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will advance a R250-million convertible debt facility to fund early works at Prieska. Meanwhile, trails are under way to treat underground water (one of the challenges at Prieska) pumped from the historic shaft at the mine.
  • Alphamin Resources’ Bisie tin complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Alphamin’s Mpama South project, which is adjacent to the current producing Mpama North mine, is expected to produce approximately 7,200 tonnes (t) of contained tin per year from 2024, thereby increasing Alphamin’s annual tin production to more than 20,000t. Despite geopolitical tension and the global economic quagmire in the aftermath of Covid-19, Alphamin stuck to its guns and realised its vision of becoming one of the world’s largest sustainable tin producers in 2022. 
  • Osino Resources’ Twin Hills gold project close to Karibib in Namibia: Osino is the first company in a very long time to develop a gold mine from scratch in Southern Africa. The company is gearing up to start developing its Twin Hills deposit over the next two to three years. It is likely that there are similar deposits scattered throughout the Damara Gold Belt, many on Osino’s multiple license areas, which makes this space one to watch in 2023.
  • First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Enterprise Nickel mine in the North- Western Province of Zambia: The new Enterprise Nickel mine, located approximately 14km from FQM’s Sentinel copper mine, was given the go ahead in 2022, following FQM’s pledge to invest a final USD100-million in the project. Once operational, the enterprise will be a top ten global nickel mine producing more than 30, 000t of nickel in concentrate annually, which will make Zambia Africa’s pre-eminent nickel producer.
  • Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kakula copper complex in the DRC: This monster copper mine recently completed the basic engineering design for the it’s Phase 3 expansion project. Kamoa-Kakula sold a record 93,812 tonnes of payable copper and recognised revenue of UAD460-million in the third quarter of 2022. With the best yet to come, the prospects are mouth-watering.
  • Endeavour Mining’s Tanda-Iguela gold discovery in Côte d’Ivoire: It is still early days but according to Endeavour Mining they have stumbled upon one of the most significant new gold resources in West Africa. Endeavour says that the Tanda-Iguela property in contained an estimated 1.1 million ounces in Indicated Resources consisting of 14.9 million tons (Mt) at a grade of 2.33 grams per ton (g/t). A further 32.9Mt at a grade of 1.8g/t had been discovered for an Inferred Resource of 1.9 million oz of gold. The Indicated Resource was discovered at less than USD10/oz. Lets wait and see how it plays out, but it does look significant indeed.
  • The Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana: Having visited the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) in Botswana in July and August 2022 during the annual WhyAfrica Road Trip, I took note of three excellent projects, in various stages of development. Early-stage exploration company Cobre’s initial drilling sent their share price skyrocketing on the Australian Stock Exchange in August 2022. Cobre owns 51% of Kalahari Metals Limited (KML), a private UK company that controls approximately 8,100 km2of tenements within the KCB in Botswana. Not far from the Cobre project site, Australian exploration outfit Sandfire Resources is developing the Motheo copper project. Motheo is scheduled to start full production early in 2023. The mine is in an advanced stage of development and the company recently announced further expansions.  Sandfire also holds tenements in Namibia and is set to become one of the major copper players in the Kalahari Belt of Botswana and Namibia. Further north-east from Ghanzi and close to the village of Toteng in Ngamiland, one of the first movers and now the main player in the Kalahari, Khoemacau Copper Mining, has developed the impressive Khoemacau copper and silver mine in the most prospective area of the KCB. The mine is fully operational.
  • AfriTin’s Uis and Brandberg West projects in Damaraland, Namibia: Another project that we visited during the WhyAfrica Road Trip in 2022 was AfriTin’s Uis project. AfriTin continues ramping up its processing capacity and the company’s prospects are looking better and better each year. Its growth has been impressive. In addition to its tin operation, the company is sitting on exceptional lithium deposits, and has made it clear that they plan to become a top lithium producer in Africa. With extensive exploration programmes underway at Uis and Brandberg West, AfriTin’s future looks bright.
  • NextSource Material’s Molo graphite mine in Madagascar: If all goes according to plan, TSX listed NextSource Material’s Molo Graphite mine in Madagascar will be operating at full tilt in 2023. Phase 1 of the Molo mine is designed to operate at a production capacity of 17,000 tonnes per annum. Phase 1 is modular and can be incrementally expanded to provide additional feedstock for the company’s downstream initiatives. Look forward to see how the company manages the challenging operating environment of Madagascar.
  • Minbos Resources’ Cabinda Phosphate project in Angola: With fertiliser in great demand and prices through the roof, Minbos Resources’ Cabinda Phosphate project looks interesting. Minbos recently secured the site for the Cabinda Phosphate Fertiliser Plant. The Cácata Phosphate deposit is situated close to the village of Cácata, approximately 45 km northeast from Cabinda City within the Cácata Mining Licence. The Subantando site is located along the main highway (EN201) between Cacata and Cabinda City, approximately 36km from Cacata and 16km from Cabinda Port. The Subantando site has been zoned as an industrial area with the intent to move a number of industrial business’s out of the town of Cabinda itself. Power and water currently run along the main road, less than a kilometre to the site, which will be investigated as a supply for the processing plant as part of the final design. The studies required to obtain the environmental and construction licence are currently being expedited.

WhyAfrica reports about, and publishes newsletters, magazines and research reports about natural resources and the primary sectors of African economies, and the infrastructure, equipment and engineering methods needed to extract and utilise these resources in an efficient, responsible, sustainable, ethic and environmentally friendly way, so that it will benefit the people of Africa.

Furthermore, WhyAfrica promotes Africa as an investment and travel destination, analyses the continent’s business environment and investment opportunities, and reports on how the political economies of African countries affect their development.         

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The company will undertake its annual road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya in 2023. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The 2022 Southern Africa Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine was distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s 2022 Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management