Orion guns for Northern Cape mining district

Orion Minerals plans to acquire a 56.25 percent stake in tantalum mining.

Australian-owned Orion Minerals wants to acquire a 56.25 percent stake in Southern African tantalum mining. The deal would see Orion as the majority stakeholder alongside the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which owns 43.75 percent.

Together with Nababeep Copper Company and Bulletrap Copper Company, collectively known as the Okiep Copper Complex (OCC), these entities hold the mineral rights to the majority of the large historical mines in the Okiep Copper Company. These mines historically produced more than two million tons of copper metal in the Northern Cape Province.

Orion’s managing director and CEO, Errol Smart, described the deal as a unique opportunity to acquire a dominant position in a historic world-class copper mining district with the potential for exceptional growth and diversification. “We believe that the complementary combination of the advanced Okiep Copper Complex with our flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project will transform Orion into a significant base metals mining house. This would accelerate our journey to become a major producer in the Northern Cape,” said Errol.

The seller has completed resource estimates and a scoping-level feasibility study, which is subject to due diligence. But based on these estimates, Orion is confident that there’s an opportunity to restore mining at OCC to historical production levels. The total acquisition, payable in various stages, is estimated at A$7.5 million (R85.6 million), with possible deferred consideration of an additional A$8.5 million (R96.9 million) subject to future exploration success.