The Prieska Copper Zinc Mine Project
District: Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality
City/town: Copperton, ± 60 km southwest of Prieska
Physical address: Prieska Copper Zinc Mine, Copperton, Northern Cape
GPS coordinates: 22 17’ 50” E; 29 57’ 20” S
The total capital cost to construct the mine is estimated to be R4.1-billion, which includes a 10% contingency. Peak funding required is R4.5-billion. The bank feasibility study (BFS-20) determined that the first phase of mining, the Foundation Phase, should generate R12.8-billion of post-tax, cash-flow.
During construction, a peak-site labour force including contractors will be an estimated 1 200 people. During steady-state operations the total average workforce including contractors will be 840 to 880 people. Up to 8 400 indirect jobs are expected to be created.
The Prieska Deposit was profitably mined for 20 years, between 1971 and 1991, when the Prieska Copper Mine operated. Based on the BFS-20, Orion believes there exists an attractive business case to continue the extraction of copper, zinc, gold and silver from the extensions of the Prieska Deposit.
The mine was previously owned and operated by Prieska Copper Mine Limited, a subsidiary of Anglo-Transvaal Consolidated Investment Company Limited (Anglovaal). The decision to close the mine was influenced by a combination of the uncertain economic and political environment in South Africa in the mid-1980s and the technical considerations which relate to the mining of the flattened deposit and no longer present a major challenge, as modern mechanised mining methods, employed globally, present a ready solution to the historical challenges.
Despite the Project site being in a remote part of South Africa, with no nearby large human settlements, it is well-serviced by infrastructure that was established for the previous mining operation. Existing infrastructure includes a water pipeline from the Orange River, tarred roads, national grid power supply, a 1.7km-long air strip and adjacent renewable energy developments.
The village of Copperton was the principal residence for the Prieska Copper Mine community. The farming service town of Prieska, with a population of 16 000, lies 60 km north-east of the site.
The operating rail siding of Groveput, located 50 km from the site, en-route to the town of Prieska, provides rail access to the main Kimberley–De Aar railway line and from there to various ports. There is a strong focus on using 4 IR methodologies and equipment to create a cost-efficient, sustainable 21st Century mine whilst maintaining corporate and social responsibility.
- Primary: Mining.
- Secondary: Financial, energy, housing, retail, transport, communications, industrial and manufacturing sectors.
The Project is financed by a combination of equity partners, BBBEE equity partners, investors, service providers and property developers.
- The project feasibility and business case stages have been completed.
- The regulatory requirements, the PCZM Mining Right, the Waste Management Licence, and the Environmental Authorisation for the PCZM licence were granted during 2019 and those for the Vardocube licence in 2020.
- The PCZM Integrated Water Use Licence (IWUL) was authorised in early 2020. A land rezoning certificate (Special Zone – Extractive Industry) required for the purposes of municipal land-use levies was granted during the 2020 calendar year.
This licencing timeline allows mine construction to commence as soon as funding is in place. The project is currently in its fund-raising stage and the early stages of construction based on the BFS-20 which was carried out in 2018 to 2019, published in June 2019 and updated in May 2020.
The ownership of PCZM is held by Orion (indirectly 70%), Prieska Resources (Pty) Ltd (20%), the Orion Siyathemba Community Trust (indirectly 5%), which is a trust established for the benefit of the host communities located around the perimeter of the mining right areas, the Orion Siyathemba Employee Trust (indirectly 5%), an employee trust established for the benefit of the mine’s employees.
Prieska Resources has BEE entrepreneurial companies as its shareholders, namely, Safika Resources (Pty) Ltd (44.72%), Kolobe Nala Investment Company (Pty) Ltd (37.97%) and Black Star Minerals (Pty) Ltd (17.31%). The BEE ownership in PCZM (and, indirectly in its subsidiary, Vardocube), meets and exceeds the current ownership requirements of Mining Charter 2018.
PCZM works closely together with the Siyathemba Local Municipality on a corporate, social responsibility level and is partnered in the provision of certain services such as water. Orion Minerals Ltd is dual listed on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) and the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange).
Potential investors, kindly send a short introduction & message for attention of the project promoters and investment facilitation team, using the name of the project – The Prieska Copper Zinc Mine Project – in your subject line. Thank you!