Alecto Minerals takes over the Botswana Mowana copper mine
The deal will be struct...
Alecto Minerals PLC has announced it is to take over the mothballed Mowana copper mine in Botswana and bring it back on stream.
The deal will be structured as a reverse takeover, with the current owner of the mine in north eastern Botswana ending up with a controlling stake.
Alecto said copper mines in Africa have struggled with its low price recently and years of poor management but this is an opportunity where it can produce at much lower costs than previously.
The deal will see Alecto will acquire a 60% interest in Mowana subject to the regulatory and shareholder approval hurdles and have a ten-year management contract.
Shares have been suspended while this process works through with Alecto also mulling a convertible fund raise to bring in additional capital and an equity funding when the shares resume trading again.
The consideration is about £6.7mln made up of £1mln cash and the rest in shares.
Alecto believes Mowana can be brought back into production for US$20mln, which will be met through offtake and vendor financing deals.
At a copper price of US$2.50 per lb, Alecto's internal estimate for the project's net present value is US$245mln.
Mowana has a resource of 683,000 tonnes of copper in the Measured and Indicated categories.
The mine operated between 2008-2015 before it was shut, but Alecto believes it can remodel the operation to slash its costs.
A Dense Media Separation plant to increase throughput to 2.6mln tpa and lift copper production to 22,000 tonnes per year.
The vendor is PemMin Botswana, a controlled by Kevin Van Wouw a specialist mining contractor based in South Africa.
Following completion of the deal, PenMin and Gerald Chapman, a director of Alecto who was involved in the transaction, will own 29.9 percent each of the AIM-listed group.
Mark Jones, Alecto’s chief executive, believes Mowana is a first-class copper mining project and represents an ideal opportunity to achieve a complete transformation of Alecto.
Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]
Anglo American: FutureSmart Mining
Anglo American’s approach to technology, digitalisation and sustainability is changing the nature of the way the company mines. These are the step-change innovations that will transform the nature of mining – how the company sources, mines, processes, moves and markets its products – and how its stakeholders experience that business. Anglo American is transforming its physical and societal footprint with FutureSmart Mining.
“FutureSmart Mining is our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining,” Anglo American’s Tom McCulley told Mining Gllobal. In his role as CEO for Anglo American Peru & Group Head of Projects he has overseen investment of more than $5bn at the company’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru.
“These are the step-change innovations that will transform the nature of mining – how we source, mine, process, move and market our products – and how our stakeholders experience our business. It’s about transforming our physical and societal footprint.”
Anglo is undertaking a feasibility study to assess the possibility of rolling out one of its FutureSmart technologies, Coarse Particle Recovery (CPR), at Quellaveco. “CPR crushes particles to 2.5 times larger than normal, reducing energy consumption and mill time, leading to a 20% increase in throughput and 85% water recovery - a key issue in Peru given the concerns around water scarcity,” says McCulley.
“By allowing water to release from the much coarser particles, CPR will reduce the risks associated with wet tailings and ultimately help eliminate them altogether. When combined with low cost additives, it is possible to dewater residual waste and produce dry stackable tailings. This technology remains a focus area for us as water sent to tailings facilities often represents the largest water loss at a mine.”
Quellaveco is going to be the first mine to run the FutureSmart operating model from day one. Anglo’s idea is to build a stable base on which it can layer new technologies, CPR being one of them.
“We will also be a fully digital mine, which brings us future benefits in terms of understanding and applying changes in real time,” adds McCulley. “Our trucks and our drills will be automation-ready. We have taken the approach that, when we decide to move into an autonomous operation, no jobs will be lost, but the nature of some people’s jobs will have to change.”
FutureSmart is a blend of technology and sustainability,” said McCulley in an interview with Global Business Reports. “If you go back to the vision and design of Quellaveco, it has really been focused on the long-term sustainability of the mine through effective use of things like water, energy and the environment. Quellaveco has been focused on technology such as automation, with digital and analytical tools all coming together. We will be looking at future technologies to bolt on as we go to ensure that we are optimizing the sustainable use of resources and remaining cost-effective.”
Anglo American’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru has created 15,000 jobs during construction and approximately 2,500 jobs are planned for operations, increasing Peru’s copper production by a forecast 300,000 tonnes per year. The mine’s first copper production is expected in 2022. To learn more about Anglo American's Quellaveco copper project read our feature here.