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Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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The Haib deposit lies about 15km east of the main tarred interstate highway connecting South Africa and Namibia and the nearest railway station is at Grunau, close to 120km north on the main highway. This rail connection could provide access to the port of Luderitz on the southwest coast of Namibia. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

After losing its license to do further exploration work at a copper discovery in the south of Namibia in 2021, Deep South Resources’ return to the Haib project is imminent after the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia reinstated its exploration license with the status “pending renewal”.

The TSX listed company was denied access to site in 2021 after the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia refused to renew Deep South Mining (DSM) – a subsidiary of Deep South Resources’ – exploration license.

The Ministry’s decision was based on what they described as the company’s inability to advance the license to prefeasibility and complete the proposed drilling programme as planned.

Deep South’s Haib copper projects is located close to the Orange River, which forms the border with South Africa in the far south of Namibia. The region on both sides of the border has a long history of copper exploration, discovery, and mining.

Haib’s recent history (Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week)

Deep South Mining (DSM), a subsidiary of Deep South Resources was granted the Exclusive Prospecting License 3140 (EPL) by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2004. EPL 3140 covered about 74,563 hectares including the deposit and a very large surrounding area.

The license was subsequently renewed in April 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 with the area reduced to 37,000ha after the 2007 renewal.

From 2008, Teck Resources – a major shareholder in Deep South Resources – under an option agreement with DSM completed a comprehensive exploration programme at Haib and immediate surroundings.

In its argument against the Ministry of Mines and Energy, DSM contested that from April 2017 to April 2021, it had invested more than CAD2-million on Haib, including an updated preliminary economic assessment, and had proposed a CAD7.1-million feasibility study and CAD25.5-million pilot plant.

The Haib deposit lies about 15km east of the main tarred interstate highway connecting South Africa and Namibia and the nearest railway station is at Grunau, close to 120km north on the main highway.

This rail connection could provide access to either the port of Luderitz or to Walvis Bay via Windhoek or to South African ports or facilities via Upington.

A long history of copper exploration (Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week)

Haib has a distinct surface expression with abundant copper staining on fractures and joint planes, particularly in and around the dry riverbed of the Volstruis River.

This led to German prospectors identifying the deposit around the late 1800s or early 1900s. Small tonnages of high-grade copper carbonate ore were mined at this time.

After this there followed a period of active mining and exploration of the deposit including a completed exploration programme by Falconbridge, a diamond drilling programme by King Resources of South Africa and a thorough investigation by Rio Tinto Zinc from 1972 to 1975.

In November 1993 Rand Merchant Bank of South Africa acquired an option over the Haib property. Venmyn Rand produced a study of the project including compilation of all the available drillhole and assay records from previous investigations and set up a computerised drillhole database.

It was concluded that the increase in the copper price since the 1970’s, development of low cost/high tonnage mining systems and new and refined technologies such as bacterial leaching, solvent extraction and electro-winning combined to create a situation where development of the Haib deposit could represent an economic project. However, no further exploration was done and work terminated in 1995.

DSM acquired the license in 2004.

DSM ready to resume work (Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week)

Pierre Leveille, President and CEO of Deep South Resources says that the company is confident that the licence will be renewed in a timely manner. “We have visited the site last week in order to prepare resumption of exploration and to be ready to start the work quickly when the final decision will be rendered,” says Leveille.

As the licence has been reinstated, pending renewal on the Mining Cadastre of the Ministry, officials of the Ministry have invited the company to resume exploration work at any time. However, Leveille says that management considers it prudent to await the renewal decision before resuming any work.

Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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Deep South’s Haib in Namibia is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

 

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