Black-owned base metals exploration and mining aspirant Horomela Investments is progressing efforts to unlock the potential of its 11 zinc, copper and lead tenements in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape.
Horomela cofounder and CEO Abongile Mdingi tells Mining Weekly that the company aims to soon start exploration work on these properties, collectively covering about 148 000 ha.
Horomela was cofounded in 2010 by Mdingi and his partner, as they believed that there was a gap in the local mining sector for a new black-owned zinc, copper and lead producer.
“We intend to not only develop the tenements but also operate the mines once they are in production. Horomela also aims to . . . become one of the largest JSE-listed black-owned base metals mining companies in South Africa,” states Mdingi.
Currently, the company is awaiting the final granting of prospecting rights for four of its tenements from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).
“We are hoping to receive these prospecting rights in the next three to four months so that we can start undertaking detailed exploration work on the sites,” he says.
Horomela is consulting with interested and affected parties about the potential impact that exploration work on the other seven tenements will have on the environment and surrounding communities.
“Once this has been completed, we will submit our consultation reports, environmental management plans and guarantees for the premature closure liabilites associated with the proposed prospecting activities to the DMR, so that the department can process our prospecting rights for these seven properties,” Mdingi explains.
He adds that the company has submitted its technical ability and financial capacity reports to the DMR for these properties.
“We hope to receive the prospecting rights for these properties by the end of this year.”
Mdingi says he is particularly positive about the prospects for the company’s properties, which have good zinc deposit potential because of the rising value of the commodity, owing to a shortage in supply and the growing demand for zinc in the steel and agriculture sectors.
He points out that many of the zinc mines that currently supply the market are rapidly being depleted, with many others having closed down over the past five years.
However, Mdingi avers that, based on available historical geological data and the properties’ close proximity to other operations in the vicinity, the probability that Horomela’s sites contain significantly large orebodies of high-quality, base metals is high.
“There have also been a significant number of historical borehole drillings undertaken by other mining companies on the majority of the tenements.
These date back to the 1970s and the drilling works indicated prominent occurrences of zinc, copper, lead and silver in the majority of the drilled boreholes, which clearly demonstrates huge potential for further exploration on the tenements.”
He also points out that Horomela’s properties are located along the high-quality zinc deposit zones and are adjacent to LSE-listed diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ Black Mountain and Gamsberg zinc projects.
“Despite the current challenging global investment and financial climate, where investors are cautious about investing in new greenfield exploration projects, we are confident that we will find the right partner/s to assist us in our mission to prospect and eventually develop our assets,” Mdingi concludes.
Publication: Mining Weekly