JOHANNESBURG - Australian explorer Orion Minerals said on Friday it had concluded a deal, first announced in April, to further strengthen its black economic empowerment partnership in Prieska Resources, by welcoming Safika Resources on board as a key partner.
Safika Resources is predominantly involved in manganese through its investment in and management of Ntsimbintle Holdings, which owns 37 percent of Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining. Tshipi é Ntle, in partnership with Australia’s Jupiter Mines, operates Tshipi Borwa, an open-pit manganese mine situated in South Africa's Northern Cape province.
Orion last month secured a A$378 million government grant for the development of its flagship Prieska copper-zinc project in Northern Cape.
Prieska Resources will ultimately hold a 20 percent stake in the project. Prieska Resources' shareholding will initially be made up of Safika Resources (44.72 percent), Black Star (17.31 percent), and the Kolobe Nala Investment (37.97 percent).
Orion's managing director and chief executive Errol Smart said Safika represented an ideal business partner in the Northern Cape.