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Expansion in Africa: Prospect Resources secures 85% stake in Mumbezhi copper project

Prospect Resources has taken a significant step in bolstering its foothold in sub-Saharan Africa’s battery minerals sector by acquiring an 85% stake in the Mumbezhi copper project situated in north-western Zambia. The acquisition, secured from the current owner Global Development Co-operation Consulting Zambia (GDC), involved a cash payment of approximately $8.32 million along with $1.5 million worth of Prospect shares.

Additionally, Prospect will provide a $1.5 million payment in scrip plus options to Orpheus Uranium, previously known as Argonaut Resources, to cover certain exploration costs incurred at Mumbezhi. Orpheus has conducted exploration activities at Mumbezhi for the past decade, focusing primarily on the Nyungu deposits and identifying significant prospectivity across several other discoveries within the area.

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Exploratory work undertaken by Orpheus has included the completion of 50 reverse circulation and diamond drill holes totaling 9,330 meters, yielding numerous economically viable intercepts near the surface. Notable results include 71.4 meters grading 0.61% copper from 29.6 meters, 47 meters at 0.57% copper from 20 meters, and 90 meters at 0.46% copper from 12 meters. These findings indicate the potential for cost-effective open-pit development at the underexplored copper-cobalt asset.

As part of the acquisition agreement, Prospect has committed to paying Orpheus an additional $3.78 million in cash upon the definition of a mineral resource surpassing 500,000 tonnes of contained copper metal. Orpheus, in turn, has agreed to withdraw any legal claims to the license area and share all pertinent historical geological and mining data with Prospect.

Sam Hosack, CEO of Prospect, views the acquisition as a significant milestone that expands the company’s presence in Africa’s battery and electrification mineral sector. He believes that Mumbezhi’s existing drilling results within a well-established operating environment present the opportunity to swiftly define a maiden mineral resource. He further adds that the acquisition enriches Prospect’s portfolio with an advanced copper exploration project, aligning with the company’s strategic objectives.

The Mumbezhi project is situated in the Central African Copper Belt, renowned as the world’s largest and most prolific mineralized sediment-hosted copper province. Covering an area of approximately 356 square kilometers, the project holds potential for large tonnage, low-to-medium grade copper-cobalt mineralization. The initial license for the project was granted to GDC in 2021 for a four-year period, with Prospect having the option to renew it for an additional three years, albeit with a 50% reduction in size as per the initial terms.

Alternatively, Prospect can choose to convert the entire license into contiguous mining licenses without any reduction in size through new applications. Notably, the Mumbezhi project is surrounded by several world-class copper mines, including Lumwana, Sentinel, and Kansanshi, operated by prominent mining companies such as Barrick Gold and First Quantum Minerals. Lumwana, in particular, boasts significant mineral resources and defined ore reserves, further highlighting the prospective nature of the region.

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