Bushveld Minerals (LON:BMN), the AIM quoted, integrated primary vanadium producer, with ownership of high grade vanadium assets in South Africa, announced that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has granted a mining right to Pamish Investments No. 39 (Pty) Ltd, in respect of the five farms Vliegekraal 783 LR, Vogelstruisfontein 765 LR, Vriesland 781 LR, Schoonoord 786 LR and Bellevue 808 LR situated in the District of Mogalakwena, Limpopo, which make up the Mokopane Project.
The Company will now finalise the financial provision requirements and concurrently implement an agreed revised shareholding structure, in accordance with Mining Charter III, that will see five per cent of the equity in Pamish sold by the existing shareholders (Bushveld Minerals and Izingwe Capital Limited) to the Bakenberg Community Trust, a trust established for the benefit of the local communities. The five per cent is to be vendor-financed and repaid from future proceeds from the mine. Bushveld Minerals’ interest in the Mokopane Project will accordingly reduce from 64 per cent to 60.8 per cent, while Izingwe’s shareholding reduces from 36 per cent to 34.2 per cent. Pamish has further committed to allocate an additional five per cent to an Employee Share Ownership Scheme once the mine is operational, which will result in Bushveld Minerals ultimately holding 57.6 per cent and Izingwe 32.4 per cent. The mining right will be executed and issued by the regional office of the DMR, on a date still to be advised.
Mokopane is one of the world’s largest primary vanadium resources, with a 298 Mt JORC compliant resource and a weighted average V2O5 grade of 1.75 per cent in magnetite (1.41 per cent in-situ). The Mokopane deposit is a layered orebody along a 5.5 km north-south strike at a dip of between 18 degrees and 22 degrees west. The project comprises three adjacent and parallel magnetite layers namely the Main Magnetite Layer (“MML”), the MML Hanging Wall (“MML-HW”) layer and the AB Zone. 298 Mt (JORC) resources and reserves run across three parallel overlying magnetite layers with grades ranging from 1.6 per cent to over 2 per cent V2O5 as follows:
- MML: 52 Mt @ 1.48 per cent V2O5 (1.75 per cent V2O5 in magnetite);
- MML-HW & Parting: 233 Mt @ 0.8 per cent V2O5 (1.5-1.6 per cent V2O5 in magnetite); and
- AB Zone: 12 Mt @ 0.7 per cent V2O5 (greater than 2 per cent V2O5 in magnetite).
The mining right allows for the extraction of several other minerals over the entire Mokopane project resource area, including, titanium, phosphate, platinum group metals, gold, cobalt, copper, nickel and chrome.
As previously announced, MSA has been appointed by Bushveld Minerals to undertake the definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) to mine the MML and provide a resources and reserves assessment. The DFS will be focused on Mokopane being the primary feedstock supplier to Vanchem and does not include the development of Mokopane into an integrated mine and processing plant. The Company has appointed an owner’s team to oversee the DFS. The DFS is expected to be completed during the second half of 2020.
Mokopane is positioned to become a primary source of feedstock for Vanchem, creating a fully integrated vanadium producing business in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost, as opposed to a standalone operation. The expedited Mokopane development, as a possible primary feedstock supply to Vanchem, does not remove the optionality of supplying ore to other primary or secondary producers worldwide, and/or to develop Mokopane into an integrated mine and processing plant.
Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals Limited, commented:
“The granting of a mining right application is a significant milestone in the development of the Mokopane Vanadium Project. It comes at an important time as the Company executes its growth strategy. The Mokopane Project is one of the best and most developed greenfield primary vanadium projects that is well positioned to support the Company’s growth strategy as primary supply to Vanchem, potential supply of ore to other third party processing facilities, all the while retaining the option to develop downstream primary processing capacity as the market develops and grows.
The Company will be executing, and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will be issuing the mining right in due course.
“I wish to thank everyone who has been involved in securing this important milestone which brings the Mokopane project much closer to production with significant job creation and overall economic benefits for the company and all its associated stakeholders.”