25 Apr Ongombo Project, Namibia – Environmental Clearance
(“African Pioneer” or “the Company”)
Award of Important Environmental Clearance Certificate for Ongombo Copper-Gold mining project in Namibia
African Pioneer plc (“AFP”), the exploration and resource development company with advanced projects in Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia, is pleased to inform shareholders of the successful completion of a key regulatory requirement, the award of an Environmental Clearance Certificate (“ECC”) for the 85% owned Ongombo (copper-gold) Project located within Exclusive Prospecting Licence EPL 5772, 40km NE of the capital city, Windhoek, Khomas Region, Namibia.
· Award of an Environmental Clearance Certificate, the last significant permitting hurdle in the pathway to production
· Ongombo Mining Licence granted subject to completion of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”)
· A combined Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 12.12Mt at 1.63% CuEq as announced on 20 December 2021
· Advanced discussions ongoing for non-equity based funding of Project capital requirements
Colin Bird, Chairman of African Pioneer said: “We are committed to bringing the Ongombo Project into production at the earliest opportunity to meet forecast global copper demand. African Pioneer is well-placed to take advantage of the expected copper supply crisis with both option and joint venture agreements in place with First Quantum Minerals, Sandfire Resources and our own projects.”
The Ongombo Copper – Gold Project was granted a Mining Licence (ML 240) in September, 2022 and has now been awarded an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) (No. 23000285: dated 16 April 2023) by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT): Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The award of a production-related ECC is an important step as it achieves compliance with the Environmental Management Act No,7 (2007) and its associated 2012 regulations, and means that the Project has now surmounted the last significant permitting hurdle in the pathway to production, initially by way of low-cost, open-pit extraction of the surface copper – gold resource currently being estimated by external resource consultants Addison Mining Services (“AMS”) in advance of a second-phase, underground mine based around a JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate of 10.47Mt.
In compliance with the requirements of the ECC, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is ongoing as is initial delivery of the now Ministry- approved Environmental Management Plan that is to accompany mine development and ore processing operations.
Updated and amended design plans will now be finalised for the initial open-pit mine and modern ore-sorting technology that will utilise low water-demand X-ray transmission (“XTR”) or gravity extraction methods suited to the arid climatic conditions. XTR and modern gravity technologies are both highly efficient means of sorting and pre-concentrating crushed ore for transportation elsewhere to allow final processing to recover the contained copper (and gold). Both technologies also enable metal-rich waste products to be stored safely on-site for possible reprocessing at a later date for their remaining metal value.
Mineral Resource estimates for Ongombo, currently being updated by AMS, provisionally support the viability of a combined open pit and underground mining operation based on JORC-2012 Resources of 10.47 Mt at 1.4% Cu and 0.35g/t Au at a cut off of 1.0% Cu (Indicated) together with a further 1.65 Mt at 1.37% Cu and 0.35g/t Au (Inferred) and, additional resources to be generated from the ongoing open pit resource estimation study.
AFP is in advanced discussions with several parties that have expressed interest in non-equity based funding of the capital requirements of the Ongombo Project and it is anticipated that shareholders will be further updated with these matters, project advancement and milestones in the near future.
African Pioneer Plc
or visit https://africanpioneerplc.com/
+44 (0) 20 7581 4477
|Beaumont Cornish (Financial Adviser)
Roland Cornish / Asia Szusciak
|+44 (0) 20 7628 3396|
|Novum Securities Limited (Broker)
+44 (0) 20 7399 9400
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“UK MAR”).
The technical information contained in this announcement has been reviewed, verified, and approved by Colin Bird, CC.ENG, FIMMM, South African and UK Certified Mine Manager and Director of African Pioneer plc, with more than 40 years’ experience mainly in hard rock mining.
“JORC” the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, as published by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia.
“JORC (2012)” the 2012 edition of the JORC Code.
A ‘Mineral Resource’ is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth’s crust in such form, grade (or quality), and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade (or quality), continuity and other geological characteristics of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge, including sampling. Mineral Resources are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories.
An ‘Indicated Mineral Resource’ is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape and physical characteristics are estimated with sufficient confidence to allow the application of Modifying Factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.
An ‘Inferred Mineral Resource’ is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade (or quality) are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade (or quality) continuity. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.
“g/t” grammes per tonne
“Kt” thousand tonnes
“Mt” million tonnes