Marula Mining Plc - Quarterly Activities Update
Announcement provided byMarula Mining PLC · MARU
Marula Mining PLC
(“Marula’’ or the “Company”)
16 November 2023
Quarterly Activities Update
Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) (“Marula” or the “Company’) an African focused mining investment company, is pleased to update the market and shareholders on the activities of the Company for the three-month period ended 30 September 2023 (the “Quarter”).
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE QUARTER
- Operational Performance at the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine
The Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine (“Blesberg”) is located approx. 94km north of the town of Springbok in the Namaqualand District of the Northern Cape and includes the Noumas I and Noumas II pegmatite bodies. Operations on site during the Quarter were focused on additional mine site infrastructure development with the construction of permanent buildings and facilities; the sampling, processing and recovery of high-grade spodumene from the historic stockpile, haul road construction, and additional drill pad preparation for the resource drilling program that commenced during the period and is focused on the hard rock potential across the granted prospecting right.
Material from the historic stockpiles was hauled daily throughout the Quarter for processing and stockpiled according to the size fractions for beneficiation and sorting. During the Quarter, 18,843 tonnes (“t”) of material was loaded and hauled from the historic stockpiles. This was a 26.25% increase on the 14,924.90t of material moved and processed in Q2 2023.
27,832t of material was processed through the crushing and screening circuit during the Quarter and a further 10,550t of material used for road and drill pad construction.
At Quarter end, total material in product stockpiles increased by 141.27% to 38,630t and comprised:
Tonnes as at Q2 2023
Tonnes as at Q3 2023
10mm to 55mm
- Major Expansion to Lithium Processing Capabilities at Blesberg with New Plant Acquisitions
As part of the Company’s plans to complete an expansion in the lithium ore processing capacity at Blesberg, the Company announced during the Quarter, on 29 August 2023, that it was completing the acquisition of two sensor-based, XRF ore sorting plants (“XRF Ore Sorters”), for total consideration of approx.
The XRF Ore Sorters have been purchased as part of the proposed expanded processing facilities that are to be installed at Blesberg and will initially include a new and expanded crushing and screening circuit, a mica removal vacuum screen and the XRF Ore Sorters. The expanded processing plant is capable of producing up to 5,000 tonnes per month of a +20mm saleable high-grade lithium spodumene product from both the current stockpiled material from the historic mining activities and from the broader development plans of a large scale hard rock open pit mining operation.
The XRF Ore Sorters purchased comprise a Rados SRF100-8 ore sorter with a 30 tonnes per hour (“TPH”) capacity, which has been acquired from Rados International Technologies (
The XRF Ore Sorters are scheduled to be commissioned on site at the Blesberg operations in Q4 2023 and work has already commenced on site for their installation.
- Further Expansion to Mining Fleet with Additional New Equipment Purchased at Blesberg
On 8 August 2023, the Company announced that additional new mining equipment, valued at approx.
The new mining equipment included a JCB 456ZX wheel loader and a JCB JS305 tracked excavator and was in addition to the Kobelco SK380XDLC excavator, a JCB 3CX backhoe loader, two new JCB 456ZX wheel loaders, and two new Bell B25E articulated dump trucks, valued at approx.
The new mining equipment delivered during the Quarter and in the preceding quarter has been secured as part of the Company’s plan to process the historic stockpiles and to commence open pit mining operations of the hard rock resources at Blesberg.
- Assay Results of Blesberg Spodumene Ore Confirm High-Grade DSO Product
During the Quarter, sampling and analyses of a 30t batch sample was completed by CI Group Limited ("CIG"), a specialised independent inspection group for the metals and minerals sector based in
Sampling was completed on the +50mm product stockpile at Blesberg with samples drawn from the stockpile, labelled, marked, and sealed upon completion of the sampling process using ISO stipulated methods.
The assay report received by the Company confirmed a high-grade result of 6.50% Li2O for the +50mm spodumene product in the stockpiles.
- First Contract Signed for Sales of Blesberg’s High-Grade Lithium Ores Direct into
On 31 August 2023, the Company announced that it had signed a contract for an initial trial shipment and sale of high-grade lithium ore from Blesberg to a
The agreement was signed for an initial sale of 27.5 tonnes of high-grade material processed from the historic stockpiles at Blesberg with sale price of
During the Quarter the high-grade material shipment was transported and delivered to
- Negotiation of New Lithium Offtake Agreement Following Termination of Previous Sales Arrangements
During the Quarter, the Company continued in its negotiations to finalise a new long-term offtake agreement for the sale and purchase of spodumene and lithium products produced at Blesberg with a number of new parties.
The short-listed parties, which comprised European based global trading commodity groups, undertook metallurgical testing and independent testing of stockpiled material at Blesberg throughout the Quarter, as part of their requirements to finalise a long-term offtake agreement.
As at the end of the Quarter, these discussions were still ongoing and the Company expects to conclude these negotiations as soon as practicable.
The Company, was able to commence its negotiation of a new and a long-term offtake agreement following the announcement on 22 September 2023 of the termination of the offtake agreement with Southern Jade Resources Pty Limited (“SJR”). As part of the termination, 15,714,279 new ordinary shares in the Company at an issue price of
- Resource Drilling Exploration and Mining Program Commenced at Blesberg
The Company commenced a
The Program was aimed at defining a maiden JORC Code 2012 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate at Blesberg and to support a larger and longer-term hard rock open pit mining operation. As part of the Program the Company appointed experienced South African drilling company, PDS Drilling to complete a 2-phase 38 diamond hole drill program.
In addition to the drill program, airborne geophysics and multispectral satellite imaging work, exploration trenching program, geological modelling, open pit mine design study and an initial mining works program, slope stability, groundwater and geohydrology studies, environmental management studies and discounted cashflow analyses and competent person reports are to be completed.
During the Quarter, the 2-phase drilling program was expanded to include a further 3-holes, and as at the end of the Quarter, 19 holes of the expanded 21-hole Phase 1 drilling program had been completed for a total of 1,026.37m on a 25m x 50m drill spacing pattern. Work commenced during the Quarter on the Phase 2 drilling program, which is being completed on a 25m x 25m drill spacing pattern, with the first diamond drill hole completed ahead of schedule in the Quarter.
Core logging, cutting and sampling of the diamond drill core commenced late in the Quarter following completion of construction of the on-site core shed, and by Quarter end, logging of 6 diamond boreholes had been completed and samples from the drill core from 2 of the Phase 1 drill holes had been taken and samples submitted to ALS Laboratories in
Work has continued on the resource drilling exploration and mining program in the current quarter, with the Program ahead of schedule and within budget and with initial assay results from the Phase 1 drilling program expected to be received shortly.
- Exploration at the Kinusi Copper Project Confirms a Major Copper Mineralised Corridor and an Initial 10 -15Mt Exploration Target of High-Grade Copper, Gold, and Other Base Metals
The Kinusi Copper Mine (“Kinusi”) is located near the village of Kinusi in Mpwapwa District in the Dodoma Region of central
As announced on 18 August 2023, exploration results received from the Phase I Program of exploration activities completed by the Company’s independent geological consultants, Geofields Tanzania Limited (“Geofields”) confirmed the presence of a copper mineralised corridor at Kinusi that extends for over 1 kilometre (“km”) length and over 300m (“m”) in width at the main Sasimo Prospect.
The copper mineralised zones identified at Kinusi were seen to comprise mainly malachite and azurite with minor bornite and native copper mineralisation and is associated with the base-metal sulphides and is oxidised near the surface and which indicates the potential extensions of the copper mineralisation at depth.
Based on the Phase I Program of exploration activities, Geofields estimated an initial Exploration Target at Kinusi of a 10-15Mt deposit of high-grade copper, gold, and other base metals, with the potential to increase to in excess of 50Mt on completion of definitive resource drilling programs proposed to be completed in the next phase of exploration work at Kinusi.
As announced on 5 October 2023, a total of 51 samples including reference material samples were collected and prepared by Geofields and sent for laboratory analyses at SGS testing facilities in
The Company and Geofields are currently finalising the Phase 2 Program of exploration activities to be completed at Kinusi. This work will include geochemistry and geophysics survey work, and a resource exploration drilling program.
- Copper Processing Plant Completed and Ready for Installation at Kinusi
As part of the Company’s plans to accelerate mine development and mineral processing operations, the Company engaged Amoref Pty Limited (“Amoref”), an experienced crushing, gravity concentration, milling and process plant consultancy and manufacturer to complete the design and construction of a two-phase processing operation to produce both a high-grade and low-grade copper concentrate.
As announced on 24 August 2023, Amoref completed the construction of an initial modular processing plant (the “Processing Plant”) and confirmed that it was ready for transportation, installation and commissioning on site in
As announced on 24 August 2023, the processing plant has been designed with an initial up-front crushing capacity of 20TPH with initial milling capacity set at 5TPH and with the capacity to be increased to 20TPH. Initial feed for the processing plant is intended to be from the copper mineralised corridor that has been identified at Kinusi and which extends for over 1km of strike length and is 300m wide and across eight of the granted mining licenses at the Sasimo Prospect.
It is proposed to continue to increase capacity at the processing plant, given its modular nature, as mining and exploration activities continue and as resources are delineated, with the view of the commissioning of a large scale solvent extraction and electrowinning circuit for the production of copper cathode at Kinusi.
As at Quarter end, the Company was continuing to finalise its plans for the transportation and commissioning of the processing plant on site at Kinusi.
- Assay results for Bagamoyo Graphite project
The Bagamoyo Graphite Project (“Bagamoyo”) comprises 22 primary mining licenses located in the Bagamoyo District in the Pwanai Region of
Following completion of the Phase 1 program exploration activities at Bagamoyo in the previous quarter, the Company was able to report that assay results had been received which confirmed the high-grade nature of the graphite mineralisation at Bagamoyo and in particular at the Mihuga Prospect where results of up to 19.71% Total Graphite Content ("TGC").
The high-grade results were from samples taken on the previously identified E-W trending graphite mineralised envelop that extends for approx. 500m in strike length and 50m in width at surface and is interpreted to extend for 2km in strike length and 200m in width over six of the granted mining licenses. The average grade of the samples taken was 9.99% TGC, with the highest reported sample grade being 19.71% TGC and the lowest being 4.14% TGC. Average grade of the samples taken from at the Mihuga Prospect was 11.97% and high-grade samples included 19.71%, 19.33%, 15.65%, 10.92% and 9.13%.
Medium to coarse graphite flakes were reported by Geofields in being identifiable in four of the samples from Mihuga Prospect which assayed 11.86%, 15.65%, 19.33% and 19.71%. The high-grade assays and coarse flakes at the Mihuga Prospect demonstrate the potential that the Company’s Board believes exists in that prospect.
- Geofields Appointed to Commence Exploration at the Nyorinyori Graphite Project in
The Nyorinyori Graphite Project (“Nyorinyori”) comprises 10 granted graphite licences located in the Simanjiro District, in the Manyara Region of
On 8 August 2023, the Company announced that it had appointed Geofields to complete a Phase 1 Program of exploration activities including mapping and sampling across the 10 granted graphite mining licenses.
The appointment of Geofields follows site visits in the previous quarter by directors of the Company and technical representatives of Q Global, where high-grade graphite mineralisation had been observed at Nyorinyori, with visual estimates of +90% graphite content and jumbo graphite flakes were observed throughout shallow and broad graphite veins exposed at depths of approximately 2m.
Geofields is anticipated to commence the Phase 1 Program of exploration at Nyorinyori by 31 December 2023.
- Expansion of Graphite Interests with Acquisition of the NyoriGreen Graphite Project
On 28 September 2023, the Company announced that through its wholly-owned Tanzanian subsidiary, Marula Mining Tanzania Limited, it had entered into an agreement with Tanzanian mining company, NyoriGreen Mining Limited (“NML”), to secure a 75% commercial interest in 10 granted graphite licenses that make up the NyoriGreen Graphite Project (“NyoriGreen”).
NyoriGreen is located very close to the Nyorinyori Graphite Project, in the Simanjiro District, in the Manyara Region of
As announced on 28 September 2023, the Company paid initial consideration costs to secure its commercial interest in NyoriGreen, through the issue of 1,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of
The Company is currently working with its independent geological consultants, Geofields to extend the mapping, sampling and trenching Phase I Program of exploration activities at Nyorinyori that is to commence in the current quarter to cover the additional 10 granted mining licenses at NyoriGreen.
CORPORATE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE QUARTER
- Strengthening of the Company’s Board of Directors
The Company remains focused on strengthening its board of directors and ensuring that its Board both represents the communities and countries that it operates in and has the necessary experience and capabilities to deliver on the Company’s battery metals strategy in
As announced on 24 July 2023 and 16 August 2023, the Company appointed Ms Angeline
- Admission to Apex
The Company’s shares were admitted to the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange on 23 August 2023.
The Apex segment is the senior segment of Aquis Stock Exchange and requires a. number of key criteria to have been satisfied, including minimum market capitalisation and free float of shares and features larger, more established businesses, and enforces stricter eligibility criteria to encourage greater liquidity.
- New Proposed Primary Listing in
Londonand Dual Listings in Africa
The Company has advised of its intent to change its primary listing in
Throughout the Quarter, the Company continued to work with its independent legal, technical and financial consultants, and other advisers in the
As a result of the increased market capitalisation of the Company over 2023 and the proposed investment and co-development partnership with Q Global, the Company is proposing to seek a listing of its securities on the Standard List of the London Stock Exchange or the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange.
The Company has further advised of its intent to seek dual listings of its securities on
Release of Annual Results and Interim Results
During the Quarter the Company released its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2022 and its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2023.
These results demonstrated the strengthening of the Company’s financial position and growth in assets and equity. Total assets and total equity increased by 1,752% and 991% respectively during the year ended 31 December 2022 and by 46% and 133% during the six months ended 30 June 2023.
These reports are available for shareholders to download from the Company’s website.
- Exercise of Warrants and Increased Director Shareholdings
A total of 6,930,000 warrants, with an exercise price of
During the Quarter, the Company’s Chairman, Richard Lloyd and its CEO, Jason Brewer both increased their shareholdings in the Company, with Richard Lloyd now holding 2,985,000 ordinary shares representing a 1.84% interest and Jason Brewer (through Gathoni Muchai Investments Limited, a company in which he is a director and shareholder) now holds 16,388,750 ordinary shares representing a 10.11% interest.
Jason Brewer, Marula Mining PLC CEO said:
"It has once again been quite an active quarter for the Company, with Marula making strides in its operations and at the corporate level too.
“We are pleased to see the major investment that is proceeding at pace at our Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine, and with the tremendous support of Q Global Commodities we have been able to secure new mining and processing equipment which we believe will transform the operation in the coming months.
“Assays of the material at Blesberg to date demonstrate its high-grade nature and this positions us favourably in the market where we are negotiating a new long term offtake agreement and where premium pricing is possible for production of a high-grade spodumene product, which will assist our growth strategy.
“We are also pleased with the ongoing resource drilling and mining program work at Blesberg that kicked off in the Quarter, and which has been advanced within budget and ahead of schedule and credit must go to the management team and contractors on site including our on-site General Manager Operations Southern Africa, Mr. Henk van Zyl and Project Manager, Mr. Jacques Perold.
“Whilst operations at Blesberg rightly get the deserved attention, work during the Quarter at the Kinusi Copper Mine and across our portfolio of graphite projects in
On the corporate front, we've strengthened our Board of Directors with accomplished individuals who bring valuable expertise and experience to our leadership team. These changes are instrumental as we move forward with our African focused battery metals strategy and with the proposed changes to our primary listing in
“Having also seen Marula’s shares admitted to trading on the Apex segment of the AQSE Growth Market will further assist in our growth, given the increased market exposure and visibility with investors that it has brought.
“Throughout the Quarter, we have seen great support and commitment by our various partners, contractors and consultants, and we hope to keep strengthening these ties as we move ahead.
“I extend my gratitude to all our shareholders and the dedicated Marula management team for their continued support, and I look forward to providing ongoing updates on all our activities as they move ahead."
About Marula Mining
Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) is an African focused battery metals investment and exploration company and has interests in several high value mine projects in
Marula's strategy is to identify and invest in advanced and high-value mining projects throughout East, Central and
Marula's shares are traded on the AQUIS Stock Exchange (AQSE), Marula is exploring opportunities to admit its shares to trading on the London Stock Exchange plc's Standard List or AIM Market,
The Directors of Marula are responsible for the contents of this announcement.
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Marula Mining PLC
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Faith Kinyanjui Mumbi
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Certain statements in this announcement are, or may be deemed to be, forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are identiﬁed by their use of terms and phrases such as ''believe'', ''could'', "should" ''envisage'', ''estimate'', ''intend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''potentially'', "expect", ''will'' or the negative of those, variations or comparable expressions, including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors' current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), competitive advantages, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward looking statements reﬂect the Directors' current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors.
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