New Zimbabwe.com

Mwana Africa out of ‘financial woods’

MWANA Africa has unveiled an independent assessment of its Zimbabwe nickel operations that provides a significant uplift to the resource and vindicates the firm’s decision to move to higher grade mining slightly earlier than first forecast.
Compiled by SRK Consulting, the document reviews Bindura Nickel Corporation’s entire business plan for the re-start of the Trojan operations.
The competent person’s report points to proven and probable reserves of almost 3.2mln tonnes at an average grade of 1.04% of the metal for 32,975 tonnes of nickel. This is a 28% increase to the previous estimates.
The operation started with producing at 68,000 tonnes of ore in July, rising to 78,000 the following month with the business plan stating output will be 63,000 to 73,000 tonne per month for the 10-year life of mine.
This should ensure Bindura is a far stronger contributor to the business than has been previously predicted.
BNC and the Freda Rebecca Gold Mine will be the two major cash and profit generators for the group as it moves forward.
The third major asset is the 3mln-ounce Zani Kodo gold deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It has been a difficult few months for Mwana, which, in common with other mining juniors, has struggled to finance the operation.
However, according to new chairman Mark Wellesley-Wood, the business is out of “financial distress” after the recent two-part fund-raiser, which brought in US$6mln.
In an effort to make its scarce financial resources go further, Mwana has found significant cost savings and it is almost halfway to unearthing an annual total of US$1mln.
This is now being ploughed into “improving” the existing asset base such as Zani Kodo.
Management’s focus going forward will be on a smaller number of core assets from a portfolio that spans gold, nickel copper, diamonds and magnesium in four African countries.Advertisement