Ethan Minerals (ASX: ETH) has received formal ratification of the Kampumba Manganese Mining Leases from the Zambian Court, agreeing to Chief Mukonchi David Musonda’s rights to the area, and can now focus on increasing production capacity at the Kampumba mine.
The Chief has also now assigned the full operating rights of the mine to Allegra Mining Zambia Limited.
The project is located in the Zambian Copper Belt in Central Zambia, approximately 80 kilometres east of Kabwe and is close to the Great North Road, the main artery for road transport infrastructure.
The Kampumba Project has been in production for the past 50 years and is currently operating at a rate of approximately 650,000MT of manganese ore annually.
Allegra is also reviewing the required capital expenditure to lift this production to 1,000,000 MT PA.
Ken Fitzgerald, Ethan Minerals' executive director, said “the company can now focus on lifting production capacity at the mine and look to completing further exploration in order to define a JORC Compliant Resource at the Project.”
The operation is an open cut mine with a run of grades which are typically above 50% and as high as 61% Mn.
On October 22 the company reached an agreement with the local interests to acquire an 80% interest in the operating Kampumba manganese mine, with the remaining 20% a free carried interest to the local community.
The mine was previously illegally operated by Chinese miners who have now been evicted by the Zambian police and courts.
The rights to operate and the title to the leases were reaffirmed to Allegra Mining Zambia Ltd. by the Zambian Government and the surface and access rights have been reaffirmed to Chief David Musonda.
Allegra will contribute USD $40,000 for environmental and community infrastructure to earn an 80% full operating interest in this mine that can produce high grade Mn at the rate of 650,000 MT PA. Allegra will also pay the appropriate lease fees as outlined in the announcement of 27th October, 2010.