Botswana: Khoemacau Mine Plans to Expand

Toteng — Khoemacau Copper Mining is planning to increase the output to more than 150 000 tonnes of copper and 6Moz of silver per annum.

The chief executive officer, Mr Johan Ferreira revealed when giving an overview of the mine during the mine official opening recently increasing output could be achieved through optimising the Zone 5 resources and exploiting other resources with their prospecting and mining licence areas as soon as they had completed and forfeited the foundation namely the Starter Project.

He explained that Khoemacau and its predecessor companies had been exploring the Kalahari Copper belt for several years when in 2012 the first drill hole intersected copper ore at the Zone 5.

"That was when the Zone 5 resources discovery started and now we have 92Mt of copper and 24g/t silver resource that is after drilling 461 holes or 214km of core," he said.

Mr Ferreira further noted that within three years following the discovery, Khoemacau developed the project to a feasibility level and successfully issued a mining licence in July 2015 when they acquired the discovery copper from Boseto operation.

The starter project, he said would have a lifespan of 20 years and involved the fully mechanised underground mining of ore at Zone 5 at a rate of 3.65 million tonnes per annum.

The ore, he said would be transported by road haulage trucks via a 32km fully sealed road from Zone 5 to Boseto for processing of a high grade copper sliver concentrate. Once commissioned, he said the first concentrate was planned to be out by April 2021 and that the operation would annually produce more than 60 000 tonnes of copper and 2 million ounces of silver.

Mr Ferreira also announced that they had concluded their agreements and appointed Barmnico, a world class mechanized mining contractor to undertake the fully mechanized underground mining activities at Khoemacau mine.

He also noted that Fluor, one of world's leading companies and a long-established reputable project delivery specialist in Botswana was contracted to engineer, construct and manage the surface infrastructure for both Zone 5 and Boseto.

He thanked the government for creating an enabling business environment to attract investors.

The chief executive officer also said the mine had put in place interventions and processes to ensure that the operations do not negatively impact the environment.

He also stated that safety for employees was also paramount as the mine intended to ensure zero harm in all their operations.

Acting paramount chief of Batawana, Kgosi Kealetile Moremi commended the mine for outsourcing some of the services and also playing an active role in community empowerment. The mine, she said had already constructed a house for one needy person and also drilled a borehole for the community.

Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mr Eric Molale commended the mine for undertaking a serious exploration on the Kalahari copper belt which runs up to Namibia in a short period of time and discovered a lot of copper.

He believed that in future more copper mines would emerge as two more companies had been licensed to explore along the belt .

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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