Transcript - Kaboko Mining has seven mining licences in three different areas of Zambia targeting manganese production. Kaboko CEO Tokkas Van Heerden provides an overview of the company’s achievements to date.
We have an operation in a Kabwe where we are still doing prospecting, and we have operations in Serenge and then we have started mining in a project in the north in Mansa. The reason we started over there is it’s a very high grade mine, it was an outcrop straight, very easy to start mining and varying demand for the product itself.
Historically there has been artisanal mining and some small mining activity in the region and we saw that with the right equipment and the right ability that we would be able to advance it quite quickly. That’s why we choose that area. It is further and it is more difficult in logistics solution, but it was quite easy to start mining.
Why is your recent announcement of the extraction of 6,000 tonnes of 55% high-grade manganese ore such a significant milestone?
We struggled to find funding and people didn’t believe that we were able to start mining that quickly. And then once we had achieved that we got the funding. Its three months till we had our first production and we will sustain that production for the near future. The reason is that it’s very important for us as we have just proved that we can do the job.
What has this commencement of mining told you about the extent of the mineralisation and expected mining costs?
There is no reason why we can’t sustain our current production. We will slightly increase it as we start processing our finds surrounding out veins. It is definitely easy to work these reefs, they are very clean, ninety five percent of the reef is sellable product. So it is precision mining and we can do the job and have done it.
Why has Kaboko chosen to undertake the mining operation with its own equipment and staff?
One of the key factors in Zambia, is the fact that for some time every year it is rainy season and you will be obliged to stop. With mining contractors that have to add that standing time onto your charges and what we found was it was too expensive to bring in contractors. So we did supply our own equipment and we are mining with it and we are very happy with the mining cost and at the moment happy with what we achieve.
What has the test of the ore told you about recoverability and grades?
We have opened a one hundred meter cut and on the strike, and we have had an immense first period because as we have started extracting this vein from five to thirty meters, it’s actually expanding bottom ward. I’m not a geologist, but I’ve been told it’s a thermal deposit that’s pushed up from the bottom. We are very happy as we are mining that we are seeing that we are actually going to increase our production as we go down. The strip ratio is minimal and the grade is fairly homogeneous across the strike. So, it is very positive. The grade is good, its stays at fifty five and it’s the same product. It’s from the same source, even though it’s moved a bit from the initial vein it’s still the same material. Maybe a bit more oxidised but it is still the same product.
What is Kaboko’s plan for the processing and export of its product?
We have purchased and paid for a plant that is arriving in Zambia in the next two weeks. Which is a massive crushing plant and screening plant and that is purely to get our product up to spec for our sales market. We have sold our first batch of material to Noble. It is six thousand tons and it’s a high grade and that is what we want to try and sustain. It will increase our capacity and it will increase our ability to deliver on our promises.