The grant of the EA by the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is the final step in the process leading to grant of a Mining Right for Vardocube, which covers the south-eastern strike extension of the Prieska deposit.
This EA follows the grant in August 2019 of the EA and Mining Right to sister company Repli Trading No 27, which covers the majority of the Prieska project mineral resource.
Orion managing director and chief executive officer Errol Smart said the grant was a major step in the development of the project.
He said: “This marks another significant milestone in our strategy to deliver a substantial new base metals mine at Prieska.”
Covers south-eastern extension
Smart said: “With the grant of the environmental authorisation and mining right for the bulk of the Prieska mineral resource secured in August last year, the grant of the Vardocube EA represents the final step towards securing the Mining Right covering the south-eastern extension of the deposit.
“The award of this important authorisation is testament both to the commitment of the Orion leadership team to deliver this project and to the support of the South African authorities in facilitating new investment in a modernised mining sector.”
The grant clears the way for construction to commence, following project financing.
Optimisation studies underway
Following the completion of the Prieska bankable feasibility study (BFS) in June 2019, Orion has been progressing optimisation studies and preparations for mine construction and securing project funding.
The outcomes of the optimisation studies will be incorporated into updated operating plans to determine a final business case which will support the updated BFS report, expected in early quarter two 2020.
This will ensure that the project execution incorporates as many improvements as possible, which Orion states will further de-risk the Prieska Project and provide the best financial outcome.