Developer progresses copper project

23rd February 2024 By: Trent Roebeck - Features Reporter

Developer progresses copper project

DIGGING DEEP IN NAMIBIA Omico mining aims to boost the copper mining sector in Namibia with its Omitiomire project

After having been stalled for seven years, the Omitiomire copper project of Namibian copper explorer and developer Omico Mining has now completed phases 1, 2 and 3 of metallurgical testwork, with Phase 4 of the metallurgical testwork to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

With mining in Namibia contributing 12% the country’s gross domestic product, the Omitiomire project will provide citizens with modern training, produce between 800 and 1 000 direct jobs and create additional taxes for government, states Omico Mining project manager Mike Stuart.

Along with its partners – Greenstone Resources, International Base Metals and Namibian subsidiary Craton Mining and Exploration – Omico Mining aims to boost the Namibian economy with the project.

The completion of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) is expected at the end of 2024, and will be “further supported by ongoing metallurgical testwork, confirming low capital expenditure, low emissions, low water consumption and strong project economics”, says Stuart.

Upon being granted an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) – which should take about six months to be granted from when the application is submitted in the first quarter of this year – the Omitiomire project will crush 570 000 t of ore a month and employ a conventional openpit mining method.

Drilling and blasting, loading and hauling, and the agglomeration with salt brine and sulphuric acid is the process that will be used before the agglomerate is stockpiled on leach pads. Using solvent extraction and electrowinning technology as a means of ensuring limited emissions and low water use, Omico and Craton will produce the copper cathode by irrigating the ore with diluted sulphuric acid, after the ore has undergone a 30-day curing period.

The copper project will produce 25 000 t/y to 30 000 t/y of London Metal Exchane Grade-A copper cathode, which Stuart asserts can be exported or sold locally, for use in various markets, including industry, infrastructure or construction and technology.

“Omico will produce copper cathode at 99.995% purity, without the need for further processing,” he says.

Despite the company not having received its final ECC yet, its subsidiary Craton has ECCs for exploration on its exclusive prospecting licence and mining licence.

Omico has prepared the environmental- and social-impact assessment study and will submit an environmental and social management plan to the relevant authorities as part of the permitting process.

The site layout is complete, as is the majority of the BFS design and engineering, including the completion of a hydrogeological model with staged pit designs, and the completion of process flowsheets.

Moreover, Omico has benefited from Craton’s exploration licence, through which it conducted 13 reverse-circulation drill holes for a total of 2 138 m.

Meanwhile, the Craton Foundation Trust, while undertaking work on the Omitiomire project, is engaging with Namibian citizens – through social initiatives – living close to the project, about the safety and benefits of the Omitiomire project.

Omico says the Omitiomire project will contribute to sustainable development and environmental preservation.

“The project has the potential to be a long-life, low-capital intensive project,” Stuart enthuses.