Orion Minerals set to announce deal on copper option, requests trading halt on shares

ORION Minerals, the Johannesburg- and Sydney-listed base metals exploration and development firm, said it had requested a trading halt on its shares ahead of an announcement, due to be made before Wednesday.

The announcement will relate to “the completion of an option agreement to acquire a major copper project in the Northern Cape province” in South Africa, it said. “Orion expects to make an announcement to the market concerning these matters before the commencement of trade on Wednesday, 3 February,” the company added.

Orion said last week that, following a drilling programme, it had found evidence supporting the development of a new copper mine potentially larger than the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project it was currently developing at a capital cost of A$432m. The company is hoping to finalise funding for the 22,000 and 70,000 ton a year copper and zinc Prieska Copper-Zinc project, with construction slated to start soon after.

As part of its drilling activities, Orion Minerals had also defined possible satellite deposits that would supply the Prieska Copper-Zinc mine.

Errol Smart, MD and CEO of Orion Minerals, is bullish about exploration in the Northern Cape province which he said had been largely ignored by developers.

“Geologically, I can tell you, having gone around the world and looked at terrains, the Northern Cape is an absolute drilling roast,” he said at the Joburg Indaba mining conference in October.