MRC ENTERS INTO MOU WITH BEE PARTNER TO DIVEST INTEREST IN XOLOBENI MINERAL SANDS PROJECT
Mineral Commodities Ltd (“MRC” or “the Company”) advises that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with its Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) Partner for the Xolobeni Project, Keysha Investments 178 Pty Ltd (Keysha), to divest its 56% interest in Transworld Energy and Resources (SA) Pty Ltd (“TEM”), the entity which owns the Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project, to Keysha on terms to be agreed between the parties.
The Xolobeni mineral sands deposit is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, approximately 300km north of East London and 200km south of Durban. The resource is situated in proximity close to existing major mineral sands operations owned by Richards Bay Minerals and Ticor South Africa.
The deposit extends over a strike length of 22km, averages 1.5km in width, and has a maximum thickness of 50 m. It is not covered by overburden and contains negligible oversize. The deposit is divided into five prospecting blocks by the Mpahlane, Mnyameni, Kwanyana, Sikombe and Mtentu Rivers. The blocks are named after the river defining the southern boundary (see above). It is estimated that a total of about 885 hectares of land will be disturbed by the construction and operation of the new mine, and it’s associated infrastructure. However, only an average of 38 hectares will be disturbed per year during standard operations.
An extensive drilling programme was undertaken in the Sikombe, Kwanyana and Nyameni blocks between July and October 2002. Two reverse circulation rigs using continuous air-core sampling drilled 1,217 holes for 25,469 metres. Samples were taken every two metres, and processed by an independent laboratory in South Africa. The heavy mineral from each sample was magnetically separated into three magnetic components and a non-magnetic fraction. Erosion control measures (for example terraces) will be implemented for topsoil stockpiles greater than 1.5m in height.
The Xolobeni project, has the potential to create in excess of 1600 jobs direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase (including smelter) and approximately 600 full time jobs during its 22 -25 year operational mine life. With a total population of 10,000 in an area characterised by high unemployment, an employment increase of 6-10%is significant.
Mineral Commodities have collected a series of stories and accounts from the people of Xolobeni to showcase what life is like in the small coastal town in the Western Cape of South Africa. From the daily struggles with their remote location and minimal access to transportation, our video series aim to connect community members of Xolobeni, and their experiences – to the world.