In a statement released after the market close on Monday, Bushveld announced that South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has approved Pamish's application to mine at the entire five farms in the district of Mogalakewena, Limpopo, in which the vanadium miner is the majority stakeholder.
The approval allows the venture to extract vanadium, but also titanium, phosphate, platinum group metals, gold, cobalt, copper, nickel and chrome throughout the project area, and to supply ore to Bushveld's newly-acquired Vanchem processing plant, which is 200 kilometres away from Mokopane.
Bushveld and Pamish minority stakeholder Izingwe Capital Ltd also said that between them they will sell 5% of equity in the project to the Bakenberg Community Trust, a trust established for the benefit of the local communities.
This will reduce the AIM-listed vanadium miner’s original 64% stake in the project to 60.8%. That will fall by a further 5% once mining begins and the employee share ownership scheme kicks in, resulting in Bushveld ultimately holding 57.6%.
Bushveld's chief executive Fortune Mojapelo called the mining rights grant a “significant milestone” in developing Mokopane, which he said was “well-positioned to support the Company's growth strategy as primary supply to Vanchem, potential supply of ore to other third party processing facilities, all the while retaining the option to develop downstream primary processing capacity as the market develops and grows”.
Mokopane is one of the world's largest primary vanadium resources, with a 298 million ton JORC compliant resource and a weighted average V2O5 grade of 1.75 % in magnetite (1.41% in-situ).
In early morning trade, Bushveld shares were 3.7% higher at 27.75p.