The Avontuur Manganese Project ("Avontuur") is located adjacent to South Africa’s premier manganese producing area, the Kalahari Manganese Field ("KMF") in the Northern Cape Province, approximately 65km north of the town of Hotazel and approximately 500km south west of Johannesburg. The Gravenhage Manganese Deposit ("Gravenhage Deposit") is situated at the northern end of Avontuur, approximately 30km north of the KMF.
Reserve and Resource
The most recent Mineral Resource Estimate (JORC, 2012) was completed for the Gravenhage Manganese Deposit during the September Quarter 2013, with a Resource of 111.7Mt at 38.5% Mn. The Measured and Indicated Resource categories comprise 92.3Mt. The broader Avontuur Manganese Project area contains Mineral Resource Estimates (JORC, 2004 and 2012) totalling 141.7Mt at 38.4% Mn.
Aquila completed a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS) for a medium to high grade manganese project at the Gravenhage Deposit, based on a JORC-compliant Reserve of 20.2Mt grading 40.1% Mn. The DFS proposes a 1.5Mtpa run-of-mine open cut operation, with subsequent underground mining by decline access from the open pit. The DFS provides for oxide ore to be crushed and screened to produce 1.125Mtpa of lump ore for export and 330ktpa of fine ore for sale to domestic sinter plants. Blending stockpiles at the mine will allow for a consistent product to be prepared for transport to domestic and international customers. Marketing studies indicate Gravenhage’s lump product should attract similar manganese prices to those achieved by premium South African and Australian ores, due to relatively low contaminant levels that contribute to slag formation in ferro-alloy furnaces.
Gravenhage has the potential to contribute to socio-economic development in a region characterised by poverty and high unemployment rates.
The Project supports primary goals of the South African Government's National Development Plan, namely:
- Job creation;
- Skills development; and
- Economic growth.
Sale of Gravenhage Project
In May 2021, Aquila executed a sale purchase agreement with Afrimat, a leading open-pit mining company providing industrial minerals, commodities, and construction materials for 100% of the Gravenhage deposit which includes the mining and land rights.
There are conditions percedent that include approval in terms of section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Development Act, Competition Commission approval, the granding of water use license, and approval of the Chinese State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council ("SASAC") for the sale of the assets.