Orion Minerals ORN
Posted 26 July 2018 - 05:03 AM
Posted 25 July 2018 - 01:54 PM
In just over a year since Orion Minerals acquired its flagship Prieska copper-zinc project, it has established a substantial resource and is on track to complete a bankable feasibility study around the end of this year, with production slated for 2020.
The rapid developments are now enabling the company to turn its attention elsewhere in the Areachap terrain to the equally exciting Jacomynspan nickel-copper-cobalt project.
"We have identified and are unlocking the value of an exceptional base metal belt," Orion managing director and CEO Errol Smart told MiningNews.net.
"We've secured a district-scale opportunity and it's one of the few base metal projects in the world where you've got both the copper-zinc and the nickel-copper-cobalt all in the same district."
Orion deliberately set out during the downturn on a global hunt for a large-scale, advanced VMS project, with an eye to developments in the zinc-hungry battery thematic and the likely decline of traditional lead-acid batteries.
The past-producing Prieska, with its substantial remaining infrastructure in good condition, became top pick due to its copper-zinc combination.
"I'm particularly interested to see what will happen with the battery revolution," Smart said.
"Some 70% of the world's zinc production is produced with lead as a by-product and if lead prices start falling, it could have a big impact on the cost of the production of zinc in the world and that's why we targeted a copper-zinc, not a lead-zinc deposit."
Prieska's overall resource currently stands at 29.4 million tonnes grading 3.8% zinc for 1.12 million tonnes and 1.2% copper for 365,000t.
Meanwhile 18 rigs are at work on infill drilling aiming to update the resource in the December quarter.
Orion submitted its mining right application in April and expects a result in mid-2019.
The company is evaluating operating between 1.4-1.8Mt per annum and has a significant headstart thanks to the project's underground infrastructure, power, water, road and rail access that remain since Prieska ceased operations in 1991.
Inspections have shown the shaft and its steelwork are in good condition, despite the lower portion being submerged in water due to about 28 years of surface run-off.
"Large mining operations regularly pump that volume of water so it's not an insurmountable problem by any means," Smart said.
"The steel work is in superb condition and we'll only have to replace about 15% of it - obviously that brings down development costs and the time to get the shaft back into operation."
Orion has begun talks with traders and smelter operators to get a proper understanding of the offtake market for what it believes will be a very clean concentrate produced at Prieska.
The company's rapid progress is being powered by strong financial backing through a recent oversubscribed A$11 million equity raising, on top of a separate $5 million placement by strategic nickel partner Independence Group (IGO) and a $6.3 million share subscription by cornerstone shareholder Tembo Capital, designed to reduce an earlier loan facility to $0.6 million.
Smart said Tembo had been instrumental in enabling Orion to advance Prieska as quickly as it had.
"There's very few exploration companies around the world who have carried out an exploration programme like we have in the past 12 months, we've drilled 62,000m and established a JORC resource in that period of time," he said.
"You couldn't have done that without shareholders with vision, they made sure we had sufficient capital available to us and gave us the confidence to push ahead and mobilise as actively as we did.
"They really are exceptional as equity investors because they have great technical capacity and they've done a lot of good introductions on the financial front and they share our vision on our way to unlock value: ‘if you believe in the size of your apple, go for the big bite'."
In a further financial boost, Australian gold miner Evolution Mining has agreed to acquire Orion's non-core Queensland tenements for $2.5 million in cash and a 2% NSR royalty.
The funds will see Orion finalise Prieska's BFS within about six months and continue both regional and Prieska exploration.
"We continue to drill and we continue to expand it and we're still only working on the main orebody and we haven't even turned our attention to the satellite orebodies that we know exist," Smart said.
"But Prieska is getting very close to the development stage and now it's time to start unlocking the rest of the value in the belt."
He noted the evolving battery market was also creating a new opportunity for the nickel world, particularly nickel sulphides, which could be beneficiated on site and therefore pointed to a higher revenue stream.
The company's burgeoning nickel potential has drawn further support from diversified Australian miner IGO, which had formed a joint venture with Orion over the junior's Fraser Range nickel project last year.
Orion has since identified the potential on the Areachap belt to discover nickel-hosting massive sulphide bodies, akin to IGO's Nova Bollinger mine in the Fraser Range, and the pair have established a collaborative working relationship over Orion's nickel projects in South Africa to explore their potential.
Orion's Jacomynspan nickel-copper-cobalt deposit hosts a resource of 6.8Mt at 0.57% nickel, 0.33% copper and 0.03% cobalt, based on drilling between 1971 and 2012.
Now fixed loop electromagnetic surveys have just identified five compelling sulphide targets that show significantly higher conductivity than the known resource.
"Not every big conductor is a high-grade metal deposit," Smart said.
"But the probability increases when you see within 100m of these high conductors we have known nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation that was drilled in the 1970s - and remember they didn't have the high-powered EM tools that we're using now.
"In this particular case, the disseminated sulphides is such a huge body it's got an economic possibility all of its own that we'll have to investigate, but the top dream is still to drill that massive sulphide."
It is almost a year since the company's secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Smart said it had given South Africans and Orion's Black Economic Empowerment partners the opportunity to hold listed shares and see the same value outcomes.
"We try to avoid taking investment at a project level because we want everyone to have aligned interests, the same risk-reward profile, and that's what the listing on the JSE has brought for us," he said.
A share price catalyst on the horizon is the nearing BFS and Smart said the company had enjoyed "a big opportunity" to reach this point within 24 months of gaining finance, acquiring the project and drilling out a 30Mt resource.
"Prieska has significant scale and quite a rapid ramp-up process - within 12 months of breaking ground we believe we could have production and sales," he said.
"There are very few projects that allow you to do that."
With the rapid pace of progress at Prieska set to continue, Orion is keen to maintain its momentum and maximise its further opportunities on the mineral belt.
Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:44 AM
Real good value IMO
Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:57 AM
ASX/JSE RELEASE: 18 May 2018
Independence Group to become a Substantial Shareholder in Orion through a $5.0M Placement to Advance South African Projects Leading mid-tier miner,
Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) will become a substantial shareholder in Orion via a $5.0M share placement at 5 cents per Share. IGO secures preferential rights to joint venture or purchase Orion’s nickel projects in the highly prospective Areachap Belt located in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Collaborative working relationship formed between Orion and IGO to enhance Orion’s planned regional exploration programs within the Areachap Belt. The proceeds of the Placement, and the new relationship with IGO, will underpin Orion’s strategy to fast-track the redevelopment of its flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project in South Africa and progress its highly prospective regional Nickel-Copper-Cobalt and Zinc-Copper exploration projects within the Areachap Belt. Orion Minerals Limited (ASX/JSE: ORN) (Orion or Company) is pleased to announce that it has taken another important step in its base metal development strategy in South Africa after entering into an agreement with IGO, that will see the leading mid-tier miner and explorer becoming a substantial shareholder in Orion and cementing a collaborative working relationship between the two companies. Orion has entered into an agreement with IGO, for IGO to subscribe for a placement of ordinary shares (Share) in Orion at 5.0 cents per Share, to raise $5.0M (Placement). The agreement also sets out the terms of an agreed collaborative working relationship between the two parties, whereby IGO has secured matching rights to any potential joint venture or sale of Orion’s nickel projects located in the Areachap Belt, South Africa. If Orion wishes to assign the whole or any part of its right, title or interest in any of its South African Nickel Projects (located within a defined area of the Areachap Belt) to a third party, it must first offer to assign such interest to IGO on the same terms and conditions as the proposed terms and conditions of the assignment to the third party. IGO’s preferential rights include the Company’s advanced Jacomynspan Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project, where the Company has announced a JORC compliant Mineral Resource estimate (refer ASX release 8 March 2018). The collaborative working relationship formed between Orion and IGO will also enhance Orion’s planned regional exploration programs within the highly prospective yet very much under explored Areachap Belt. Due to the lack of favourable environments world-wide which have the potential to host major new NickelCopper-Cobalt and VMS discoveries, Orion’s large ground holdings in the Northern Cape of South Africa provides both Orion and IGO significant exposure to exploration success. Based on regional exploration programs already completed, Orion has identified the potential for discovery of nickel hosting massive sulphide bodies similar to IGO’s Nova Bollinger Mine in the Fraser Range, Western Australia in the Areachap Belt (refer ASX releases dated 14 July 2016 and 8 March 2018). Orion intends to commit a minimum amount equivalent to 30% of the $5M Placement to IGO (being $1.5M) towards its Nickel-CopperCobalt exploration targets. The Placement and IGO’s preferential rights further strengthen the existing relationship between Orion and IGO, following the Company’s announcement on 10 March 2017 that Orion and IGO had entered into a joint venture agreement on the Fraser Range Nickel-Copper Project, Western Australia and that IGO had subscribed for a $1.3M share placement in Orion. The additional $5M share placement by IGO in Orion increases IGO’s shareholding in Orion from 4.2% to 11.1%. The agreement with IGO is consistent with Orion’s strategy to fast-track it flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project and progress its highly prospective regional exploration projects located within the Areachap Belt, South Africa. Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, commented: “We are very pleased to cement a relationship with a strategic investor with the qualities of IGO. IGO’s Nova Bollinger Nickel and Jaguar Zinc-Copper mining operations in Western Australia have remarkable geological and engineering similarities to Orion’s advanced stage projects in the Areachap Belt in South Africa. In addition, the exploration models and methods that Orion has employed in the Areachap Belt are very similar to those being used by IGO in a similar geological terrain in the Fraser Range, Western Australia. Clearly, there are strong synergies between the companies and a meeting of minds between our technical teams.” Errol Smart Managing Director and CEO
Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:44 PM
Courtesy of Smart101 Hotcopper, see below:
See link to article in Mining Weekly at the bottom - Vedanta has announced that a feasibility study into the development and construction of a zinc smelter-refinery complex at their Gamsberg operation the Northern Cape is under way. The Gamsberg refinery could see a further investment by Vedanta of between US$700-million and US$800-million.
Gamsberg is not far from the Prieska Project and ore can easily be transported to Gamsberg in the future. The zinc and copper concentrate from Prieska were very sought after by smelters in the past due to low deleterious elements - i.e. very "clean" concentrates making them attractive for smelters or as a blending product for bulk concentrate traders.
The Northern Cape region of SA is poised to become the world's largest zinc supply region and having large player like Vedanta with its Gamsberg operation in the same region as the Prieska Project, could provide an array of opportunities for the Prieska Project and ORN.
Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:42 PM
Regarding mining risks in SA, Vedanta as a large shareholder of Anglo american has requested the Anglo board not to sell any more mines in SA...
The mining charter is being reviewed with Gwede Mantashe at the Helm and the Government focus under Cyril Ramaphosa is to be investment friendly as we try and turn our economy around.
The fact that under previous President Jacob Zuma, Orion still managed to get this far without any political roadblocks to where they consider "SA`s Prieskas" their flagship project speaks volumes as to their management teams conduct and direction they are taking...goes to show they are either very confident or foolhardy in persisting.
Even selling off "Conors Arc", if that doesn`t show commitment I don`t know what will.
As a South african resident I am hopeful and confidence is no longer waning, go Cyril!
Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:40 PM
The Prieska project has another exciting prospect, that being the by-product [Cobalt] from copper mining, and we all know that EV`s is creating a market growth curve still in its infancy.ie see TAW tawana resources
Cobalt as a resource is currently limited in its supply and the cost of has has been soaring in the past couple of years.
This is certainly a medium to long term hold that will require patience with production only getting underway in 2022.
Will the sale of "Connors Arc" provide sufficient capital to see it through to production?
Definitely not but it should see us through to the completed BFS hopefully. There may be a consideration once the BFS is out to sell "Fraser range" to see us through to production without a need for a CR.
And based on the BFS results the sp rerate should reflect positively or negatively, i`m banking on positively and so is Tembo capital "Tembo Capital is a private equity investment advisor targeting junior and mid-tier mining investment opportunities in emerging markets"
currently holding 19.99% share in Orion, the other large shareholders/ investment co`s incl Tembo hold almost 40%.
There is definitely a large vested interest in seeing this project go from strength to strength $$$$
Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:23 AM
Posted 21 February 2018 - 06:42 PM
Thanks,appreciate the feedback. Ironically I took a small punt on it yesterday.. does look promising and worth the gamble
Posted 21 February 2018 - 05:31 PM
Bull your view on Orion - Yay or nay to take a small gamble on?
Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:05 AM
The zinc price is at a decade high and the outlook is for it to stay strong for much of 2018, underscoring decisions by miners in SA to step up production and bring fresh metal to the market.
Acting on the fundamentals of supply and demand, the metal used to galvanise steel to protect it from corrosion has shown strong price growth, more than doubling since 2016, says John Meyer, a resources analyst at SP Angel in London.
He said supply constraints came at a time when Chinese demand was strong and had resulted in global stockpiles falling to 2008 levels.
The news is good for South African-focused companies operating in the Northern Cape. India’s Vedanta Resources, which is bringing its Gamsberg zinc mine into steady state production, and newly formed Orion Minerals, which plans to restart mining at the mothballed Prieska copper and zinc mine, are tapping into untouched resources and using modern mass-mining methods.
Posted 31 December 2017 - 01:02 PM
S.A. Exports in November expanded by 11.5 percent, with sales of precious stones and minerals up 21 percent, base metals rising 19 percent.
When will Prieska be in production?
Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:07 PM
JSE and ZARX Finance and Investment Forum -> https://platinumwealth.co.za/
Do you run an investment club? -> https://platinumwealth.co.za/forum/forum/11-investment-clubs/
Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:45 AM
Anybody invested here or just the sophisticated investors... manipulating the speculative market.
ASX share price = 3.0 Aussie cents / JSE share price = R1.69 @ current exchange rate of 1 A$ = 10.83 ZAR
Parity with ASX sees value @ R0.32,49
Disparity of R1.36,51 over valued on JSE BY 420%!!!!
Somebody is milking the cows...