JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX-V-listed Namibia Critical Metals has signed a deal with a private, undisclosed Namibia-based group for the development of a small-scale manganese mine at its wholly-owned subsidiary Kunene Resources Namibia’s operations.
The agreement allows the local Namibian group to produce manganese mineral concentrates from a small manganese occurrence within the Kunene cobalt/copper project area in exchange for sliding-scale royalty payments.
“Namibia Critical Metals has reviewed the available technical information on the occurrence and concluded that it is not of sufficient scale to be of interest to the company,” CEO Pine van Wyk said on Thursday.
The initiative is expected to provide meaningful jobs and cash flow to the Namibian company, while monetising the small-scale mining opportunity of the manganese occurrence previously evaluated and deemed to be too small for Namibia Critical Metals to develop.
The royalty, capped at N$100/t, will range from 1% to 5% based on the grade of concentrate produced and prevailing commodity prices for the sale of each dry metric ton unit of manganese.
The cash flow from the royalty payments will contribute to continued exploration and development of the Kunene project.
The manganese occurrence was discovered by Kunene Resources in 2013 and evaluated over a three-year period as the Olulilwa manganese project.
“A comprehensive exploration programme comprised of detailed surface mapping and diamond drilling was undertaken in 2016 to consider the technical and financial feasibility to mine the occurrence by openpit methods and to build a pilot plant to produce manganese concentrate,” Van Wyk commented.
It was concluded that the Olulilwa manganese beds had the potential to be developed into a small-scale manganese mine.