The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: U.S. Firm Finalises Plans for Nickel Mine

United States-based Raptor Resources Holdings has finalised its plan to develop its green field nickel and copper mineral claims in Shamva, the company confirmed yesterday. Raptor Resources is a mining group with interests in acquisition, exploration and development of various mineral resources in Zimbabwe.

The company has two subsidiaries, Mabwe Minerals which specialises in mining and selling industrial metals and TAG Minerals which is a mineral and metal resource acquisition, exploration and development company.

Raptor resources said a study has been completed to pave way for the development of the nickel and copper reserves that were discovered in the area.

"Earlier this year, the mining group acquired the entire Raptor mine project through its Zimbabwean affiliate, TAG minerals. The company however is now looking at developing this Greenfield resource.

"Using previously compiled data, Raptor resources will most likely focus on mining and developing transition metals like nickel and copper first," the company said.

In 1974, soil geochemistry and geophysical surveys conducted on the Raptor mine in Shamva outlined the availability of sizeable nickel anomalies and more than one differentiated flow.

The mine covers 248 hectares and is located near the Dodge Mine, which Raptor Resources wholly owns.

"Trojan Nickel Mine, Zimbabwe's leading nickel mine and refinery, is within the proximity to Raptor Mine and most nickel ores in the Shamva area have several recoverable metals creating multiple streams of revenue," said the company.

Raptor Mine also has a similar host rock, nickel mineralization, and modes of occurrence as Trojan Mine.

The company said its active projects are at various stages of production and development and these include Raptor Mine which, along with the Dodge Mine, represents the company's ongoing interest in commercializing various industrial minerals and metals.

Raptor Resources Holdings is targeting workable hard assets, experienced mining companies and emergent Greenfield resources, for instance the Raptor Mine Project.

The mining group this year acquired a 100 percent stake in Chitungwiza-based quarry mining company, Derbyshire Stone Quarry where the company eyes revenue improvement because of the quarry company's location in a prime residential growth zone within the proximity to major road projects. Following the acquisition of the quarry mine, Raptor resources' revenue rose 32 percent to $3 million in March this year.

Raptor resources is again looking at expanding Dodge mine and recent series of four meter trenches were done across one of the mountains in the area and it located two parallel barite lenses.

Barite mined at Dodge mine is a crystalline mineral of barium sulfate (can be white, yellow or colourless) that is used in paint manufacturing and is mostly used as industrial mineral and is also a chief source of barium chemicals.

The company however has confidence in its gravity mapping project and a number of third party geologists having visited the mine with the company's expansion certain.

Raptor Resources has been making plans to initiate a drilling programme at Dodge mine that is necessary to complete the gravity mapping interpretation with volume estimates.

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