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Orion on an acquisition drive to consolidate copper projects in SA’s Northern Cape

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Underground at Orion Minerals’ Prieska project in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Image credit: WhyAfrica

10 August 2021 – ASX and JSE listed Orion Minerals is on an acquisition drive to consolidate several copper licenses and projects in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.  

Orion has taken another key step in its strategy to become a leading diversified international base metals producer after exercising its exclusive option to acquire a controlling interest in the majority of properties comprising the Okiep Copper Project (OCP).

OCP is located about 570km north of Cape Town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

According to Errol Smart, Managing Director and CEO of Orion, the company has also applied for additional Prospecting Rights to supplement the OCP mineral rights.

As part of the acquisition, Orion will gain access to mining and exploration records and extensive data held by the O’Okiep Copper Company (and its affiliates), covering more than 60 years of mining history at the OCP.

The OCP acquisition has been restructured with Orion now directly acquiring the mineral rights and other assets held by Southern African Tantalum Mining (Pty) Ltd (SAFTA), Nababeep Copper Company (Pty) Ltd (NCC) and Bulletrap Copper Co (Pty) Ltd (BCC) (Okiep Copper Project), rather than the entities themselves.

Orion has completed an extensive due diligence investigation on the OCP during which it estimated maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resources totalling 11.5 Million tonnes (Mt) at 1.4% copper (Cu) for 159,000 tonnes of contained copper, identified numerous high priority exploration targets and commenced exploration activities.

A positive Scoping Study completed in May 2021 confirmed the potential for early cash-flow and ‘Proof-of-Concept’ copper production, with results from the study confirming:

  • The OCP deposits have potential to be mined at low cost by both open pit and underground mining methods;
  • Potential exists to rapidly advance the project to production, with critical permitting processes already under way; and
  • A ‘proof-of-concept’-scale operation requiring low upfront capital investment can provide commercially attractive returns and early cash flows.

In addition, Smart says there is significant potential for operational synergies between the OCP and Orion’s fully-permitted Prieska Copper-Zinc Project, also located in the Northern Cape Province, where Orion is in advanced project funding discussions.

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