Berkely Mineral Resources begins copper production programme

Berkely Mineral Resources, an AIM-listed metals processing company, has started a pilot programme to produce copper cathode from tailings stockpiles situated at the former Bwana Mkubwa mine, on the Copperbelt Province in Northern Zambia.

Berkely Mineral Resources, an AIM-listed metals processing company, has started a pilot programme to produce copper cathode from tailings stockpiles situated at the former Bwana Mkubwa mine, on the Copperbelt Province in Northern Zambia.

Berkely has become interested in a 75% shareholding in Ndola Mineral Resources (NMR), a newly registered Zambian company, which is in the process of taking transfer of a Prospecting Permit/ Small Scale Mining Licence held by Phoenix Materials.

Phoenix will hold a 25% free carry shareholding in NMR and Berkely will pay a cash consideration to Phoenix of $0.3m.

Phoenix currently has a small scale Prospecting Permit but has applied for a Small Scale Licence which will be assigned to NMR when received.

The firm believes that its first cash flow should be generated from this project in the third quarter of next year.

Berkely has also concluded a joint venture agreement (JVA) with the Bwana Mkubwa Consortium, whose members are the licencees of five Artisanal licences, all of which are located within the former Bwana Mkubwa Mine Site. Berkely said it is "pleased to have secured the JVA as it will secure the employment of local Zambians who have significant knowledge and experience of the site".

It is estimated that the stockpiles contain around four to five million tonnes of mineralised waste, ore and tailings dumps. Analysis indicates that copper grades vary between 0.3% and 1.00%. The firm said it intends to process enough mineralised material from the dumps to provide an output of 150 tonnes of copper metal per month.

In order to do this, it is in the process of securing an industrial zone plot, which is expected to cost $0.4m.

Masoud Alikhani, Chairman, said: "As at Kabwe, BMR has secured another valuable resource in Ndola which is also above ground. The company is making the transformation from being an acquirer of resources to becoming a producer of metals. Whilst the initial 150 tonnes-a-month programme at Bwana Mkubwa is expected to bring revenues of some $1.2m per month at current LME copper prices, BMR is continuing negotiations to source further substantial copper stockpiles in Northern Zambia."

NR

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