British Company Interested in Ongopolo

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Discussions relating to a possible investment in Ongopolo mine by an English-based company are likely to be concluded towards the end of this month, the Manager of Ongopolo Andre Neethling has said. Last Friday, Ongopolo mine announced its engagement with Weatherly International Plc in negotiations to acquire a significant equity interest in Ongopolo. Yesterday, Neethling refused to reveal any detail with regard to the ongoing discussions, saying this will simply weaken Ongopolo’s bargaining position in the ongoing discussions. “We are still negotiating what price to pay and what we get in return,” he told New Era. According to Neethling, this is not the first time Ongopolo has been approached by a company with similar intentions. In the past, advances were made by other companies in the mining industry but somehow failed. “We will have to see if we can negotiate a deal with this,” he stated. There can be no certainty as to the outcome of these discussions, nor with regard to the terms in which an investment might be made. Weatherly’s main activity is that of exploration and development of mining and mineral projects. The company holds certain exploration and development rights to a copper mining project in Zambia, covering a decommissioned mine and tailings dam situated in Luanshya in the Copper Belt in Zambia. The Luanshya Copper Project is considered by the Board of Weatherly to be one of the larger copper resources in Zambia with up to 1.4 million tonnes of copper contained in resource categories. It is estimated that the Luanshya Copper Project could be capable of producing up to 60,000 tonnes of copper annually using modern, proven mining and processing techniques. On the other hand, Ongopolo is a copper mining and smelting company with activities in central and northern Namibia, operating four copper mines and a smelter. Two of the copper mines, Otjihase and Matchless, are located near Windhoek. The other mines and smelter are located in the northern part of the country near Tsumeb. A possible investment in Ongopolo could form the basis of a broader strategy by linking it to Weatherly’s Luanshya copper mining project in Zambia.