SA’s Northern Cape to become “next big mining province”, says former gold miner

THE Northern Cape province in South Africa would become a major mining and exploration district, said Jan Nelson, the former CEO of Pan African Resources.

Commenting in an article by BusinessLive, Nelson said: “This area has been completely overlooked for years. People thought it was mined out. It’s not. Mark my words, this is going to be the next big mining province in South Africa”.

Nelson is the founder of Cape Copper Oxide Company which retreats waste ore dumps in the province left by previous copper miners. The company plans to produce 2,000 tons a year of high purity copper plate from its activities, said BusinessLive.

Said Nelson of the Northern Cape: “We already have Vedanta and its zinc mines, Orion is restarting zinc and copper at Prieska and now this copper deal they’re looking at next to us. Majors are now looking at the area”.

Earlier this month, Johannesburg and Sydney-listed Orion Minerals said it had an option agreement to buy control of Okiep Copper Company for an initial purchase price of A$7.5m which could be restored to historic copper production of 40,000 tons of metal annually.

The company also announced last month that drilling of tenements in the Northern Cape indicated a new major greenfields copper resource that could host a mine as large as the proposed A$432m Prieska Copper-Zinc Project it is hoping to start building this year.

The firm’s CEO and MD, Errol Smart, commented last year that the Northern Cape was “a dripping roast” for mineral exploration. “Geologically, I can tell you, having gone around the world and looked at terrains, the Northern Cape is an absolute dripping roast.”

“Just on our 3,000 square kilometres of mining rights and prospecting rights alone, we have got 23 commodities of interest. It has everything from uranium and nickel and cobalt to platinum [group metals] and gold, and all the base metals you can dream of. There are very few places in the world where you can find a terrain like that.”

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