JSE- and LSE-listed platinum-group metals (PGMs) and chrome producer Tharisa Minerals has restructured its transaction with Leto Settlement Trust for the acquisition of 90% of the Salene Chrome Zimbabwe prospect.
Tharisa has been granted a call option to acquire a 90% shareholding in Salene, exercisable upon Tharisa’s completion of an initial $3.2-million exploration programme over the special grant areas held by Salene.
The amended structure should provide Tharisa with certainty on the extent of the mineralisation and the necessary techno-economic information on which to base an investment decision, while retaining the economic benefits of the transaction.
The transaction is in line with the approved growth strategy of Tharisa, including increasing its geographic diversification, operating low-cost and openpit operations with access to a higher-grade chrome product, replicating the Tharisa model in a different jurisdiction, and maximising value for Tharisa with limited downside risk and upfront risk to access resource potential.
Leto will retain a 10% free-carried shareholding in Salene and will be entitled to a 3% commission on the cost, insurance and freight sales value of the chrome concentrates and any other commodities sold.
Meanwhile, the exploration programme will, on obtaining the necessary environmental permits, include trenching and/or pitting operations over the special grant areas to determine the extent of the mineralisation and the sampling thereof to confirm and delineate the illuvial chrome orebody and the in situ grade of the chrome content to enable a maiden resource indication.
The exploration work will set the groundwork to enable a fast-track to production, subject to the outcome of the economic feasibility study.
Salene’s three special grants under the Zimbabwe Mines and Minerals Act cover an area of about 9 500 ha, or 95 km2, on the eastern side of the Great Dyke, which is the world’s largest-known PGM and high-grade chrome deposit area outside of South Africa.
On approval of the environmental-impact assessment, which has been initiated and for which consultants have been appointed, Tharisa will start the trenching programme to determine the extent of the Salene mineralisation.