By Desie Heita
Weatherly International, the owners of the former Ongopolo Mining in Tsumeb, are pumping additional millions of dollars into the Namibian operations to care for new mining exploration activities and asset strengthening.
The mine wants to build diesel power generation sets and to construct an oxygen plant in Tsumeb.
Further, fresh mining explorations are being done in the Grootfontein District in a joint venture with Anglo American’s subsidiary Ambase Prospecting (Pty) Ltd.
About US$2 million (approximately N$15,3 million at current exchange rate) has been committed for the exploration process that will take three years.
Under the terms of agreement, Anglo American would put up the money.
“We believe that our regional knowledge and experience will complement and enhance the skills and resources of such a reputable multi-national as Anglo American in this partnership,” Rob Webster, Chief Executive Officer for Weatherly International said.
The exploration is on Weatherly’s tenement under the Exclusive Prospective Licence 2906 near Berg Aukas Zinc Mine in the Otjozondjupa region.
Weatherly is also raising funds, US$12 million of which 9 percent is in secured convertible loan notes due in 2010.
Weatherly said part of the money is to “start initial engineering and upgrade existing assets in Namibia, including the refurbishment of the diesel power generating sets and the construction of the oxygen plant required for the second stage of the smelter expansion”.
The other half of the funds will go towards the completion of a feasibility study for Tambao manganese project in Burkina Faso.
Tambao is said to have probable reserves of approximately 19 million tonnes of manganese. The mine is estimated to have a life span of 20 years. The feasibility study is due in September this year.