Metalex acquires South African diamond exploration project
Metalex Ventures, the Toronto Stock exchange-listed exploration company, has acquired a promising diamond exploration project in South Africa.
In a statement, Metelex says it has reached an agreement to acquire an interest in the 3,373-hectare Viljoenshof prospecting license from Invest in Property 126 (IIP).
The license area, within 30kms of the famous Kimberly Diamond Mines, is last known to have been explored by DeBeers in the 1960s, with two kimberlite pipes, two kimberlite dykes, and two kimberlites of unknown type discovered.
DeBeers had unsuccessfully applied for the exploration license over this area again in 2014, as IIP applied shortly beforehand and was awarded the license, the statement explains.
Indicator minerals collected from the kimberlite indicate that they contain rare G10-10 garnets, which support the presence of high-grade kimberlite, it adds.
The agreement with IIP entails a staged earn-in for Metalex, with the company set to first fund £12,348 to covert the prospecting license into a mining lease to acquire a 20 percent interest. ASR Consultants has already been engaged by Metalex to carry this out.
The next stage will involve Metalex funding an airborne geophysical survey and testing known kimberlites and new targets. Completion of this and a £7,485 payment to IIP will earn Metalex a further 15 percent interest.
The third stage will be the drilling of a minimum of 12 holes to test kimberlites which show economic potential. Completion of this work and the payment of another £7,485 to IIP will earn Metalex a further 15 percent interest, or 51 percent total interest.
For the fourth stage, Metalex will have to fund a bulk sampling of a kimberlite – this, along with a payment of £74,868 to IIP will earn it an additional 10 percent of interest (61 percent in total).
Once the feasibility study for the project has been completed, the company will earn a final nine percent interest – bringing its total interest up to 70 percent. Following a positive decision to proceed with mine construction, a further £74,868 will have to be made to IIP.
The joint venture will be subject to a 10 percent net profits royalty interest in favour of Verdi Farms trust, the statement adds.
“Metalex looks forward to advancing this sought-after project, located close to the first kimberlite mine in the world,” said Chad Ulansky, president and CEO of Metalex Ventures.
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.