Gemcorp and Endiama Mining launch diamonds joint venture
Gemcorp and Endiama Mining have entered into a joint venture to develop the Mulepe diamond deposit in Lunda Norte, Angola.
The partnership foresees Gemcorp will own 75% of the business and Endiama 25% and alongside funding the pilot project, the independent investment management firm will oversee operations.
At full production, the project is expected to process around 3 million tons of kimberlite per annum with a total capital investment estimated at over US$150m.
The Mulepe site contains significant kimberlite and alluvial deposits and would provide employment and commercial opportunities in the remote region. Workers will be requied in management, mining, plant and camp operations.
Atanas Bostandjiev (pictured), CEO, Gemcorp - which has $1.75 billion in assets currently under management - said the partnership is another example of its belief in Angola’s economic future. "Our experience in project funding and development, coupled with our commodity trade expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa, means we are well placed to deliver on this project," he said.
Ganga Júnior, President of Endiama, said the partnership marks another important step towards diversifying the Angolan diamond sector across the entire value chain.
"We are pleased to be working with Gemcorp on what will be its first diamond exploration activity in the country – it is a project that will certainly contribute to the development of Angola, representing a strong sign of the opening of the sector to foreign direct investment."
The Mulepe project is Gemcorp’s first investment in diamond mining in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has a strong track record of successfully managing large-scale projects in Angola, including the Cabinda Oil Refinery. The first 30,000bpd phase should be ready by late 2021.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.