Together with its parent company Cupric Canyon, Khoemacau Copper Mine signed a loan facility of $565 million (P5, 9 billion) from Red Kite Mine Finance and Royal Gold AG to commence its copper and silver mining operations in the Northwest.
The funding will be used for construction of the company’s 3.6 million tonne per annum starter project at Khoemacau processing ore. The direct construction of the Starter Project is $397 million over a two year construction time-line. First Copper Concentrate production is expected in the first half of 2021 with the initial annual production averaging 62000 tonnes copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver.
Cupric Canon Chief Executive, Johan Ferreira said securing the project funding package by partnering with two of the industry’s leading global mine finance providers allows the company to move forward energetically with all project development activities.
“This step marks the completion of a remarkable evolution of the company from discovery of zone 5 in 2012 to full construction of a high quality copper asset in 2019.
Khoemacau mining and exploration licenses cover an area of 4, 000 square kilometres in the Kalahari copper belt, which expanded after the acquisition of Boseto Mine in 2015. The company has been given a 20-year Mining License with 185 million tonnes of copper resources available for mining.
He said being able to commence the development of a large scale fully mechanized mine and deliver high quality jobs and sustainable development in the Kalahari copper belt reflects not only the quality of the mining environment in Botswana but also the strong support of government towards foreign investment and new mine development.
Khoemacau has been developing its coal mining project in Northwest Botswana over the past six years and has currently completed permitting and land access agreement; secured the required power and water; undertaken advanced engineering, procurement and mobilization such that it is ready for full construction release of the Starter Project, pending closing of the project funding package. The company has also signed Memorandum of Agreement with Botswana Power Corporation to source 30 megawatt power from the BPC grid. Upon production the mine is expected to create employment to 900 people.
The copper mining industry in Botswana suffered a setback when key base metal producer, BCL Mine closed in 2016. This followed the closure of Boseto Copper Mine which was operated by Discovery Metals.