IronRidge Resources Limited acquires Ghana project
IronRidge Resources Limited, the global mineral exploration company with exploration tenements in Gabon, West Africa and Queensland, Australia, has announced the acquisition of a highly prospect hard rock lithium tenement package in Ghana, West Africa.
Global demand for lithium is increasing at an unprecedented rate since the emergence of consumer electronics, the electric vehicle and energy storage markets, driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiencies.
The project, located on the southern margin of the Cape Coast Batholith, a 100x200km granitict intrusive complex. The company has announced that the site contains multiple untested pegmatite occurrences identified - including lithium, tin, tantalum, niobium and beryllium targets throughout the tenement package.
Speaking of the company’s progress, Vincent Mascolo, Chief Executive Officer of IronRidge, said: “Our global search initiatives continue to yield positive results with this advanced opportunity, an impressive historical lithium resource complimented with adjacent highly prospective licenses and applications is a timely opportunity considering the emerging battery and storage energy markets.
"We are very excited about the emerging energy space and today's news development presents a compelling opportunity covering resource scale potential, simple mineralogy, proximity to infrastructure and mining friendly jurisdiction, all imply the potential for a first quartile, low capital and operating intensity project."
The Company has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Obotan Minerals Ltd and Merlink Resources Ltd of Ghana, West Africa, under which IronRidge can acquire up to 100% of the projects through staged earn in arrangements and expenditure to Feasibility Study within a 4-year period subject to Obotan and Merlink retaining a NSR of 2.5% of which 50% may be acquired for US$3 million at any stage. Funding will be used to undertake further exploration work and, pending results, defining a maiden resource and complete project studies.
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Zimbabwe targets £8.8bn mining industry by 2023
Zimbabwe’s government plans to fast-track exploration, evaluation and digitalisation of selected reserved mining areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as part of wider measures to achieve a £8.8 billion mining industry by 2023, according to a senior government minister.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said other plans include stopping the issuance of special grants in the reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development until the exploration and evaluation is complete and a robust value addition program for diamonds is implemented.
Mutsvangwa was speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing on December 15.
She adds that the issuance and renewal of special grants for energy should also be based on the financial and technical capacity to value add all types of coal, as well as for ideal exploration of Coal Bed Methane.
For renewal of special grants, consideration should take into account the period the Special Grant has been held as well as plans with milestones for value addition of the special grant, Mutsvangwa says. She adds that the Zimbabwean government expects gold to drive the mining sector in order to achieve the ambitious target, with the precious metal expected to contribute approximately £2.96 billion to the overall target.
Mining is one of Zimbabwe’s major contributors to its economy, alongside agriculture, which is the mainstay. The mining sector accounted for more than 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency receipts in 2019, and contributed around 16 percent to national Gross Domestic Product, the Chamber of Mines says.
The country’s mining industry is focused on a diverse range of small to medium mining operations. The most important minerals produced in Zimbabwe include gold, asbestos, chromite, coal and base metals.
Zimbabwe expects its economy to expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 from a projected contraction of 4.5 percent this year, due to the effects of drought and the COVID-19 global pandemic.
When presenting the 2021 National Budget in November this year, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said that the mining sector is projected to rebound by 11 percent next year after surviving a COVID-19 induced shock that saw the sector contract by 4.7 percent in 2020. In September, mining bans in national parks were introduced, according to news agencies.
He added that the National Budget would allocate £1 billion towards the operations of the ministry for planning, promotion and exploration, data capturing, and automation, among other key mining processes.
Other factors necessary for the achievement of the £8.8 billion target include a stable macroeconomic environment, policy consistency, and availability of long-term capital to fund mining projects along the entire mineral value chain, the minister said.
Stopping "illicit financial flows" from gold smuggling is another key issue to address, according to media reports.