Zambia-focused Blackthorn Resources has been granted a mining lease for its Kitumba-copper project, satisfying a key condition of a takeover by fellow-listed Intrepid Mines.
“This is a significant milestone for Blackthorn Resources and confirms the support of the Zambian government for the development of the project,” said Blackthorn MD Mark Mitchell.
“We now look forward to advancing the project through the definitive feasibility study and working with all stakeholder groups to develop a socially and environmentally responsible, as well as profitable, asset in Zambia.”
The mining licence would have an initial 25year term.
An initial prefeasibility study has indicated that the project would require a capital investment of about $358-million to deliver a three-million-tonne-a-year underground operation, capable of producing 39 000 t/y of copper, over an initial mine-life of 11 years.
In August this year, Blackthorn became the takeover target of Intrepid Mines, which was offering Blackthorn shareholders 1.078 Intrepid shares for every Blackthorn share held.
The merged entity is expected to have a cash balance of about A$80-million, which will be sufficient to complete the definitive feasibility study on the Kitumba project, and to explore near-mine targets and the wider Mumbwa-project licence area.
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