Mowana Copper Mine which went into judicial management in 2018 after an unsuccessful run for glory could be back to commercial production by September this year, MP Mining, a company with Mauritius shareholding roots is on the ground to revive the mine’s fortunes.
Early this year Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Honorable Lefoko Moagi together with his ministry’s top officials visited the mine near Dukwi , a little over 129 kilometers from the second city of Francistown.
The Ministry‘s top brass through, its Department of Mines-custodians and regulators of national mining activities said government is fully committed to facilitating the re-opening of all closed mines for both employment creation and boost to the economy.
Mowana Copper Mine was first developed by African Copper Limited after being awarded a 25 year mining licence in 2006. Production began in the second quarter of 2008. African Copper ran the mine until filing for liquidation in 2015 after copper prices in the international base metal commodity market plummeted to record low levels.
This is the price decline episode that also brought the over 50 year old BCL Group to its knees.In 2017, South African Cradle Arc PLC reopened the mine with a conditional investment of $4 million (P40 million) working capital facility from Fujax Minerals & Energy limited.
However Cradle Arc PLC and Fujax partnership collapsed after a disagreement over collateral when Cradle wanted to drawdown the rest of the facility.
At the time of partying ways operations at Mowana had already consumed just over $1 million (P10 million). In his visit Minister Moagi revealed that a company called MP Mining had been identified by the judicial manager for reopening of the mine.
Minister Moagi said negotiations between the company, Department of Mines and other parties are close to completion. “The information we are receiving from Mowana judicial manager is that all statutory processes and regulatory assessments as required by Department of Mines will be completed by end of September this year, we are looking forward to seeing this mine back in operation” Moagi said.
The Director of Department of Mines, Ms Sellinah A. Mogojwa shared that MP Mining is currently refurbishing the processing plant “ They are procuring state of the art equipments , material and components , some assets components are already on site and they are already assembling and building a state of the art ore processing facility ” she said.
According to the Mine’s Judicial Manager Mr John Hinchliffe the mine has a potential of going back to commercial glory and roaring to profitable production heights for an extra 24 years of lifespan.
“We had studies done by an international consultant we engaged recently, this studies have confirmed the resource and commercial viability of Mowana , signaling that profits could be realized if a significant investment is channeled towards re-opening of the mine” revealed Hinchliffe