A previously producing mine with significant uplift potential
Cradle Arc conditionally acquired an interest in the Mowana Copper Mine, previously known as the Dukwe Copper Project, in December 2016, and completed the acquisition in November 2017. Having identified an opportunity to bring the previously producing mine and plant back into production at a relatively low cost, Cradle Arc and its partners re-modelled the mine to ensure that it can produce from a much lower cost base to generate profit even at depressed commodity prices.
The recent history of the project involved African Copper PLC, a company previously quoted on AIM, which acquired the project and undertook additional drilling and metallurgical testwork which was compiled into a NI43-101 Compliant Feasibility Report by Read, Swatman and Voight (“RSV”), relying on geological modelling by Caracle Creek, mine design by Turgis Consulting and plant design by Senet Projects. This new mine plan relied on recovering copper rich concentrates through flotation, and these concentrates would be sold on to smelter companies. Construction of the project occurred in 2006/2007, with commissioning in late 2007.
Mowana, under African Copper’s ownership, was profitable and cash generative at an operating level, in the years ending 31 March 2013, 2014, and in the half year ending 30 September 2014. This information is the latest available published financial reports for African Copper, prior to the cessation of production in 2015. However, African Copper owed ZCI approximately US$110 million, with ZCI holding security over the Mowana assets. Encumbered by debt, the project was forced to shut down operation in 2016.