Tshipi Borwa Project

The Tshipi Borwa project is an open pit manganese mine which is located immediately adjacent to Samancor Manganese (Pty) Limited’s Mamatwan mine. The Mamatwan mine has been operating since 1964 and is majority owned and operated by BHP Billiton (SA) Limited.

The Tshipi Borwa mining right was initially issued to Ntsimbintle Mining (Pty) Limited by the Department of Mineral Resources. Ntsimbintle subsequently transferred this mining right to Tshipi after receiving ministerial consent in terms of the section 11 of MPRDA. This mining right has subsequently been notarially registered in Tshipi’s name. Mine construction commenced in 2011; first ore was produced in the second half of 2012.

The mining operation plans to employ approximately 400 people through permanent employment, in addition other jobs will be created from associated services and business opportunities which will be specifically aimed at local development in the Northern Cape, South Africa’s most impoverished province.

 

Geology & Resources

The Kalahari Manganese Field, which stretches for 35km long and is approximately 15km wide, hosts 80% of the world’s economically mineable high grade manganese ore resources. The Tshipi Borwa Project is located on the south western outer rim of the Kalahari Manganese Field making the ore resources shallower and amenable to open pit mining. Tshipi ore commences at a depth of 70m below the surface and the ore is contained within a 30m to 45m thick mineralised zone which occurs along the entire Borwa Property. The ore layer dips gradually to the north-west at approximately 5 degrees.

Tshipi’s strategy is to mine and process the lower 15m of the mineralised zone, commonly known as the bottom cut, as it bears a higher grade ore. A portion of the upper 15m mineralized zone, referred to as the top cut, is planned to be stockpiled for possible use later. All the economic evaluations of the Tshipi Borwa Project and mine plans have assumed the top cut to be an unsalable waste product. Further details of the Tshipi Borwa top cut resources can be found in the Jupiter press release on the top cut resources in November 2010.

 

 

Tshipi Borwa Geological Resources

 

Table 1 - Tshipi Kalahari Manganese Project – Mineral Resource Estimate

 

Deposit

Indicated

Inferred

Total

(Indicated and Inferred)

 

Million

tonnes

%

Mn

Million

tonnes

%

Mn

Million

tonnes

%

Mn

Zone M

22.69

37.95

39.64

37.87

62.33

37.90

Zone C

22.95

36.68

40.61

37.01

63.56

36.89

Zone N

12.83

36.67

20.73

35.98

33.56

36.25

Altered

3.35

35.35

0.43

31.41

3.78

34.90

Total

61.82

37.07

101.41

37.11

163.23

37.10

 

Mining

 


Mining of Tshipi Borwa, owing to the nature of the deposit, will be a relatively simple truck and shovel open cast operation. In essence the top soil is removed and stockpiled in a separate area for later use during the rehabilitation phase. The various layers of the Kalahari formation are removed, followed by the harder banded ironstone, dolomite and manganese layers which are part of the Hotazel formation. When the exposed the manganese ore is drilled, blasted and loaded onto a truck and hauled to the primary crusher which feeds main Run Of Mine (ROM) stockpile.


Plant

The ROM stockpile feeds the secondary crushing unit and the wet screening processes in order to produce two products; namely a fines and a lumpy product. The specifications for the two products that Tshipi Borwa will produce are as follows:

 

Fines

%
Mn

%
Fe

%
CaO

%
MgO

%
Al2O3

%
SiO2

%
P2O5

%
LOI

Grading

Primary (TS1) Max

38.0

6.0

17.0

5.0

1.0

15.0

0.10

30

90%
-6mm; +1mm

Primary (TS1) Min

35.5

4.5

12.0

3.0

0.1

2.0

0.02

7

90%
-6mm; +1mm

Primary (TS1) Typical

36.0

5.0

15.5

3.4

0.27

5.5

0.04

17

90%
-6mm; +1mm


Lumpy

%
Mn

%
Fe

%
CaO

%
MgO

%
Al2O3

%
SiO2

%
P2O5

%
LOI

Grading

Primary (TS1) Max

38.5

6.0

17.0

5.0

1.0

15.0

0.10

30

90%
-75mm; +6mm

Primary (TS1) Min

36.0

4.5

12.0

3.0

0.1

2.0

0.02

7

90%
-75mm; +6mm

Primary (TS1) Typical

36.8

5.0

15.5

3.4

0.27

5.5

0.04

17

90%
-75mm; +6m


These products are conveyed to the product stockpiles for loading through our state-of-the art load-out station onto the railway trains or road trucks.

 

Rail & logistics

Tshipi Borwa is situated adjacent to the South African national railway network which is operated and managed by Transnet, South Africa’s Railway Network Operator. Tshipi has been constructing a new rail siding together with a rapid load out station. This siding meets Transnet’s specifications and Transnet have approved the design.

Tshipi has been railing their product to the ports of Port Elizabeth and Durban, and when necessary Tshipi also has the option to utilise road transport.

In terms of capacity allocation to Port Elizabeth, Tshipi has an allocation in Transnet’s Manganese Export Capacity Allocation process (MECA). In terms of the MECA process Tshipi has a tonnage entitlement to Port Elizabeth for an initial period where after Transnet will reallocate all capacity on the railway to PE.

Tshipi also expects to use the port of Durban. Due to Transnet’s improved service delivery and the installation of a new Rotary Tippler, we are confident that in the near to medium future capacity at Durban will increase above the existing 1 Mtpa.

Longer term Transnet has earmarked the port of Ngqura as South Africa's prime exporting port. This port and the railway has been earmarked to be significantly expanded ahead of the closure and relocation of the bulk Port Elizabeth manganese terminal.

 

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