China Africa in quest to commercialise Berg Aukas
China Africa Resources (CAR) will adopt a rigorous drive to establish commercial terms for the purchase of the concentrates from its Berg Aukas in the short-term as well as the completion of a pre-feasibility study the company reported in its annual report for 2013.
Prospective smelters and or refineries will however have to be identified before the initiation of its pre-feasibility study.
China Africa Resources announced a maiden Joint Resource Reserve Estimate at the Berg Aukas mine of which in excess of 95% was situated in depths of approximately 350 metres to 550 metres below surface equalling 1,264,800 tonnes at 15.5% zinc, 3.8% lead, and 0.33% vanadium oxide in 2013, a notable highlight for the company.
According to China Africa Resources, the resource estimate verifies the historical resource estimate reported in 1977. The historical estimate however was reported as being non-complaint to current reporting standards.
Said Rob Webster, Chief Executive Officer of China Africa Resources, “I am very pleased that the results of this resource estimate, based on historical data and drilling undertaken by CAR in 2012, verifies the historical mineral resources at the Berg Aukas Mine. This is an exceptionally high grade zinc and lead deposit with much of the significant infrastructure in place, including an 800metre shaft and underground development, which should allow rapid, and cost effective, reopening of the Berg Aukas Mine.”
The Berg Aukas underground mine operated from 1958 to 1978. The first shaft was established in 1958 with a second shaft sunk in 1968. From 1967 to 1978 it is reported that 2.3 million tonnes of material at 15.0% zinc, 3.9% lead and 0.85% vanadium oxide were hoisted from the mine, of this 1.5 million tonnes of ore at 21.5% zinc, 5.5% lead and 1.23% vanadium oxide was milled.
The mine closed in 1978 and significant resources remain unexploited. The majority of the remaining resource is located in areas of the mine where extensive development is in place, providing good access to the ore body.
China Africa Resources is an active explorer in the country and recently obtained 18 exploration rights for a combined area of approximately 7,146 square metres.
Weatherly plc owns a 25% stake in the mine while China Africa Resources holds the remainder.