The BEE entity, Prieska Resources, will now include Safika Resources, alongside Black Star Minerals, and Kolobe Nala Investment Company.
Orion’s managing director and CEO Errol Smart said: “We are delighted to welcome Safika as a partner in our Northern Cape mining ventures.
“To us, Safika represents an ideal business partner in the Northern Cape.
“As a majority black owned business that founded an extremely successful mining operation by taking it from a grassroots beginnings by securing undeveloped Prospecting Rights, to now holding one of the largest interests in, and management of, one of South Africa’s most successful mining ventures and one of the world’s top manganese producers, is a tremendous badge of success.
“Safika’s success demonstrates the potential for successful exploration and mining in the Northern Cape.
“What has impressed us most is Safika’s ethical approach to business and its extremely strong commitment to the community and stakeholders, which matches our own aspirations as we move to developing Prieska as a Tier 1 base metal producer and unlocking value from our large exploration holdings.”
Proactive caught up with Orion back in April 2019 when the initial BEE structure was formed.
Safika’s chairman Saki Macozoma said: “This transaction with Orion sees us further entrench our position with fellow Northern Cape shareholders to diversify into copper and zinc in the near term.
“We look forward to replicating our success in manganese achieved in the Tshipi é Ntle,
Tshipi Borwa mine that broke ground in Q4 2011 and was the largest manganese ore exporter from South Africa in 2018.
“The development of the Prieska mine should be another material boost to the Northern Cape economy.”
Dewatering trials of old underground mine in progress
In June 2019, a bankable feasibility study (BFS) valued a 10-year copper and zinc mining operation within the Prieska Project at $574 million pre-tax.
Most recently trials to dewater the old underground mine at the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project commenced.
Underground mining of the historical Prieska mine is to commence on completion of mine dewatering and shaft refurbishment.