Australian miner Orion Minerals on Monday announced that Tembo Capital Mining had extended a AUS$3.6 million loan facility. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg News

JOHANNESBURG – Australian miner Orion Minerals on Monday announced that Tembo Capital Mining had extended a AUS$3.6 million (R35m) loan facility to advance the Prieska zinc-copper project in the Areachap belt in South Africa's Northern Cape province.

Orion has poured money into modern exploration techniques to revive the operation of information contained in archive data in the Prieska deposit which was discovered by Anglovaal in the 1960s and then closed in the 1980s as a result of political uncertainty. 

The dual-listed miner said proceeds from the loan facility would be used to progress the Prieska project bankable feasibility study, which is on track for completion in the second quarter of 2019.

"We are very pleased with Tembo’s ongoing support as well as the support of the holders of the convertible notes, as it enables the continued rapid advance of the Prieska Zinc-Copper Project through to the completion of bankable feasibility studies," Orion Minerals chairman Denis Waddell said.

"Our focus is on bringing Prieska into production as quickly as possible, based on the parameters outlined in the positive scoping study released in December 2018. The bankable feasibility study is well advanced and on track to be completed in Q2 2019."

Under the terms of the loan Tembo – which holds a 22.99 percent stake in Orion Minerals – may at its election, have the balance of the loan facility repaid by the issue of ordinary shares in Orion Minerals to Tembo at a deemed issue price of 2.6 Australian cents per share subject to shareholder approval.

Orion Minerals said the maturity date of its convertible notes had been extended by six months to end of September. In March 2017, the company issued 232.69 million convertible notes to the value of AUS$6.05 million with a face value of AUS$ 2.6 cents each. 

African News Agency (ANA)