Rick Menell, CEO, Teal Mining & Exploration
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TEAL weighs gold option

Posted: Wed, 05 Jul 2006

[miningmx.com] -- HAVING listed on the JSE earlier this year, Patrice Motsepe’s TEAL Mining & Exploration (TEAL), has been keeping a low profile. But in a world when finding new sources of metal production has become increasingly important to the $120bn commodity investment market, it’s worth keeping tabs on what TEAL might do.

One item of speculation is that TEAL has been considering engaging AngloGold Ashanti in proposals to merge the latter’s 80,000 oz/year gold producer, Navachab, with a new mine TEAL is developing, Otjikoto. The mines are a few kilometres apart in Namibia, north-west of Windhoek.

TEAL, which is 65%-owned by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), is mostly based on developing its base metal properites in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Finding of way of tackling its one potential gold mine is a looming question.

Rick Menell, president and CEO of TEAL, has declined to comment on specific plans for Otjikoto. He said, however, that the company was weighing up strategic options. “Anything you can think of, we’ve probably considered in depth,” he said. “At the moment, the focus is to continue drilling Otjikoto until the end of the year.

“It’s a one million ounce resource that we hope to turn into two million ounces. We should get there in about six to 12 months,” Menell said.

The presence of gold in TEAL’s portfolio does not fit, but it’s not decided either if it should be the hands of another producer, or exist as a separately listed company if such an entity had critical mass.

Menell confirmed there had been interest from juniors to buy Otjikoto. “It’s a nice deposit, but it will take time to develop. It’s too premature to say what we’ll do,” he said.
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Said Andre Wilkens, CEO of ARM: “We will have drilled out the orebody by the end of the year and then we’ll look at the results. The drilling is going well”.

TEAL raised $33.5m in November 2005 to bring its Mwambashi copper mine in Zambia into production in early 2007. The funds would also be used to complete feasibility studies on its Konkola North copper project, also in Zambia, and its Kalumines prospect in the DRC.