Botswana approves license renewal for Lucara’s Karowe Mine
Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology, and Energy Security has approved the application for renewal of Mining License No 2008/6L for the Canadian-owned Lucara Diamond Corp, and its subsidiary, Lucara Botswana, for the AK06 (Karowe) Mine.
In a statement, Lucara Diamond Crop says that the renewal is effective January 4 for a period of 25 years and marks a critical step in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
"The receipt of our mining licence renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year,” said Eira Thomas, President and CEO.
“Lucara is grateful for the confidence and support demonstrated by the Government of Botswana as we work to expand our operations at Karowe underground, for the benefit of the Government and the people of Botswana together with Lucara's shareholders. We look forward to continued cooperation and a mutually rewarding partnership with the Government of Botswana."
The Karowe underground expansion project, which continued to advance in 2020 under a revised US$22 million budget in response to COVID-19, is focused on detailed engineering and design, and limited earth works and geotechnical studies.
The company continues to explore debt financing options for the underground expansion for those amounts which are expected to exceed the Company's cash flow from operations during the construction period.
In its statement, Lucara anticipates that financing will be in place by the second half of this year. The underground expansion program has an estimated capital cost of $514 million and a five-year period of development, with first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.
The hard rock, open pit mine has a depth of 324 metres has a probable reserve from surface to bottom of 19.84mt containing 2.6 million carats, total mineral reserves (including stockpiles) of 25.40mt containing 2.96 million carats, based on 1.25mm bottom cut off size and 70 percent of the insitu carats at 1.00 BCOS)
A total Indicated resource from surface to a depth of 600 m below surface of 57mt containing 7.9 million carats including stockpiles (effective date of May 25, 2018, based on 1.25mm bottom cut off size and 70% of the insitu carats at 1.00 BCOS). It has an inferred resource from 600 metres to 750 metres below surface of 1.93 mt containing 1.17 million carats.
Newmont acquires Canada’s GT Gold in $325mn deal
Newmont, the world’s biggest gold miner, has acquired Canada’s GT Gold in a deal worth $325mn. The gold giant now controls the Tatogga gold-copper project in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.
“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” commented Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer.
“We look forward to continuing to build a respectful and meaningful relationship with the Tahltan Nation, including the community of Iskut. The relationships we have with Indigenous communities, First Nations and host communities are critical to the way we operate. We will partner with the Tahltan Nation at all levels, and with the Government of British Columbia to ensure a shared path forward as the Company understands and acknowledges that Tahltan consent is necessary for advancing the Tatogga project.”
Newmont’s acquisition includes the Tatogga project, comprised primarily of the Saddle North deposit, which has the potential to contribute future significant gold and copper annual production. There are also further exploration opportunities beyond the known deposits at Saddle North within the land package. The Tatogga project adds to Newmont’s existing interest in the prospective Golden Triangle through the company’s 50% ownership in the Galore Creek project.
Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. A world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. The American miner is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.
With gold prices on the rise, the last six months has seen gold industry M&A activity accelerating. A recent Mckinsey report, advises that the industry need to be mindful of mistakes made during the previous gold price boom, when growth was chased unidirectionally by several companies.