South Africa: Tawana Makes Passive Investment in Iron Ore

South Africa: Tawana Makes Passive Investment in Iron Ore

DIAMOND explorer Tawana Resources has acquired an interest in a portfolio of iron ore prospects in Northern Cape and Thabazimbi through its 26% stake in black empowerment company Rakana Consolidated Mining, the company says.

But Tawana CE Wolf Marx said yesterday this did not mark a move out of diamonds by the company. Tawana’s association with empowerment groups Guma Resources and Seven Falls had led to Tawana being offered a number of diamond prospects, some of which could lead to acquisitions. Tawana considered it desirable to have exposure to other minerals as well as diamonds, and this would be a passive investment. Tawana recently formed a strategic alliance with Robert Gumede’s Guma Resources to identify and acquire potentially economic mineral rights and form joint ventures on a project by project basis.

In addition, Tawana’s longstanding empowerment partner in its Daniel Kimberlite and Alluvial Projects, Kareevlei Wes, Perdevlei and Tawana Alluvial projects is Seven Falls.

Rakana is the same group of people as Seven Falls but Tawana bought a 26% stake in Rakana some time ago, Marx said. Until now Rakana has had no assets and no material value so the stake is not reflected in Tawana’s annual report. Rakana has now formed the Thabazimbi joint venture with Australian-listed Aquila Resources to develop iron ore properties in SA. The partners had acquired seven prospecting rights covering about 3400km’ in Limpopo and Northern Cape, Aquila said. At Thabazimbi, in Limpopo, two of the holdings cover strike extensions of the formation now being mined by Kumba Iron Ore. In Northern Cape, two of the holdings lie north of Kumba’s Sishen Iron Ore mine and another two are south of Kumba’s Sishen South project.

In its latest annual report, released last week, Tawana chairman Brian Phillips said the company hoped to be granted a mining right for Kareevlei Wes by the June quarter, which would enable Tawana to start trial mining on the KV2 kimberlite. This would be “a much anticipated milestone for the company”.

Tawana’s stock traded 4,3% higher at 73c on the JSE yesterday.

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