Africa|Business|Copper|Dewatering|Energy|Exploration|Gold|Industrial|Mining|Platinum|PROJECT|Projects|Refining|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Technology|Products|Drilling|Infrastructure
Africa|Business|Copper|Dewatering|Energy|Exploration|Gold|Industrial|Mining|Platinum|PROJECT|Projects|Refining|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Technology|Products|Drilling|Infrastructure

Metals for cleaner future being turned to account in minerals-endowed Northern Cape

Orion Minerals reaping rewards from South Africa's minerals-endowed but under-explored Northern Cape.

Orion's flagship Prieska project with an inserted picture of CEO Errol Smart.

28th September 2022

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


Font size: - +

JOHANNESBURG ( – South Africa’s critical minerals potential is being highlighted in an increasingly promising manner by Orion Minerals, the Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed company that is showing the way in the minerals-endowed Northern Cape.

Orion, headed by its Boksburg-born CEO Errol Smart, is poised to bestow on South Africa an integrated and far-reaching value chain of future facing metals production in a province which is crying out for more exploration in the new era of enhanced prospecting technology.

With their surfaces barely scratched, Orion's properties have already brought back to the fore the province’s significant historical mining of copper, zinc, lead, gold, silver and tungsten, with notable diggings of lithium, rare earth elements and uranium, along with virgin deposits of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group elements (PGEs) being identified.

The company’s Annual Report 2022 just released shows that the approach being adopted by Orion is one of integration from exploration to market, with the company becoming a new-generation South African mining company focused on the development of advanced green metals projects, local refining of battery metals, and the use of green renewable energy from the Northern Cape's bright sunshine.

Orion’s core asset portfolio now includes mining and prospecting rights on the:

  • Prieska copper/zinc project, the flagship development, which is permitted and ‘shovel-ready’;
  • Okiep copper project, with potential for near-term production restart; and
  • Jacomynspan project, a nickel, copper, cobalt, PGEs, and gold pursuit, with potential to produce advanced battery precursor products.

For the Prieska project, funding of $87-million is being negotiated with Triple Flag to support an early production scenario, which includes potentially bringing forward concentrate production and phased dewatering.

For the Okiep copper project, South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation has signalled its intention to partner Orion in the development of the New Okiep Mining Company subsidiary and the Okiep project.

Encouraging results have been received from a successful maiden drilling programme on the Koperberg – Carolusberg line of intrusives, confirming historically reported results and proving shallow mineralisation.

Sixteen late-time electromagnetic (EM)  targets have been identified from a SkyTEM™ airborne EM survey completed over the Okiep project, covering 26 historical copper mines and 150 known copper prospects.

A new copper-nickel discovery has been made at the Nous prospect from the first drill-hole completed to test a SkyTEM™ anomaly, with coincident magnetic and EM anomalies.

Targets are now being plotted for follow-up drilling.

At Jacomynspan, the battery refining agreement – which is poised to bring sought-after value addition to the Northern Cape mining business – has been signed with Stratega Metals, embracing the development of a specialist refining facility, using Strategi’s licensed refining know-how. Presenting a major beneficiation value uplift is metal vapour refining technology that is used to produce battery precursor metal and nano powders used in the electronics industry.

Negotiations to acquire the remaining interests in the Jacomynspan nickel/copper/PGEs project were extended to provide additional time for the owners to discuss a potential expanded and revised transaction, whereby additional prospective Southern African nickel projects may be combined with Jacomynspan.

The Prieska project, 270 km southwest of Kimberley, is in a district that has access to well-established local and regional infrastructure. Prieska’s development will be uplifted by the Okiep project, with the two projects positioned to turn Orion into a diversified base metals miner.

Orion’s main activity is exploration, evaluation and development of base metals in the Areachap Belt, and as such it does not have a source of income, and is reliant on debt and equity raisings to fund its activities.

During the reporting period, it raised A$2.6-million before costs to fund exploration and development of its projects. Net cash used in operating activities and investing activities totalled A$17.9-million and included payments for exploration and evaluation of A$13.2-million, principally related to the development of Prieska, Okiep Copper and exploration.

The operating loss increased to A$15.53-million and basic loss per share rose to A$0.33c.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



SMS group
SMS group

At SMS group, we have made it our mission to create a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry.

Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (07/06/2024)
7th June 2024 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.303 0.339s - 115pq - 2rq
1: United States
Subscribe Now
2: United States