THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackthorn Resources (ASX:BTR) has received some good news regarding exploration tenure covering the company’s 100 per cent-owned Mumbwa project in Zambia.
The Mumbwa project hosts the 187 million tonnes at 1.14 per cent copper Kitumba deposit.
The Mumbwa licence, which is currently held on trust for the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Blackthorn Resources (Zambia) by BHP Billiton World Wide Exploration, has been renewed by the Zambia Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development.
Blackthorn Resources (Zambia) has also had a new and additional licence, Kabwera covering approximately 147sqkm granted.
Kabwera is situated to the east of the Mumbwa licence.
The licence is valid for two years, this being the first of three 2-year periods available.
The Mumbwa project now includes four exploration licences covering approximately 790sqkm.
Mumbwa project licences. Source: Company announcement
“We are very pleased that the Mumbwa licence containing the Kitumba deposit has been renewed as expected,” Blackthorn Resources managing director Scott Lowe said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Work is now underway to transfer the renewed licence from BHP Billiton to Blackthorn Resources (Zambia) Limited and to do the work necessary to apply for a mining licence in due course.
“Blackthorn Resources now has a substantial exploration licence “footprint” in Zambia.
“We are enormously excited about the economic potential of Kitumba and the potential for other discoveries elsewhere on the various tenements.”
The Mumbwa licence was formally part of a joint venture with BHP Billiton who exited the project in mid-2011.
With the renewal now in place, the process of transferring the licence to Blackthorn Resources (Zambia) can commence in accordance with BHP Billiton’s contractual obligations.
The renewal was first applied for on 12 July 2011 and included a 250 square kilometre reduction from the previous Mumbwa licence.
Blackthorn said the delay in granting was due to a temporary moratorium on the renewal and issuing of licences to allow the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to carry out a comprehensive audit of mining and exploration licences.
No issues regarding the Mumbwa project licences were identified and the moratorium has since been lifted.
The Mumbwa licence was first issued in November 2007 and is now valid for the third and final 2-year period.