Orion shares placed on a trading halt ahead of April 22 announcement

18th April 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Orion shares placed on a trading halt ahead of April 22 announcement

MD and CEO Errol Smart

JSE- and ASX-listed Orion Minerals has requested an immediate trading halt to be placed on its securities, pending the release of an announcement in relation to exploration results at its Okiep copper project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.

Orion said it expected to make an announcement to the market concerning this matter before the start of trade on April 22.

It has also distributed an invitation to shareholders to a live investor webinar with MD and CEO Errol Smart on April 22 at 03:00 South African time (09:00 Australian Western Standard time) to provide an update on recent progress at the Prieska copper/zinc mine and Okiep.

Mining Weekly on April 17 reported that Orion had announced that it had made progress with acquiring a controlling interest in the Okiep project.

Orion and other relevant parties, barring the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), which was still in the process of finalising internal approval, had signed addenda to amend the agreements that would affect Orion’s controlling interest in the project, the company reported.

Orion in 2021 exercised an option to directly acquire the mineral rights, mineral data, rehabilitation guarantees, any contracts and any other assets held by Southern African Tantalum Mining, Nababeep Copper Company and Bulletrap Copper related to Okiep, rather than acquiring shares in the entities themselves.

Further, the company said it was awaiting results of confirmation drilling and metallurgical testwork that was currently under way, and which was expected to be concluded by June. This testwork would help inform the bankable feasibility study.

Once the IDC has obtained its required internal approvals and signed the addenda relating to the sale assets held by the aforementioned entities, Orion can submit the final application for regulatory approval in respect of the first phase of transactions.

The Okiep project comprises the core of a premier historical copper district that produced more than two-million tonnes of copper over a 150-year period ended in 2003.

Okiep currently has a mineral resource of 12-million tonnes grading 1.4% copper for 159 000 t of contained copper. The resource estimate covers an initial six deposits and is based on a detailed review of historical drill data and subsequent geological modelling.

Orion said it saw potential for further expansion of the resource through its own exploration, since only mineral resources from the Flat Mines area of the greater Okiep copper complex were incorporated in Orion’s foundation-phase plan.