Prospect Resources to acquire 85% stake in Mumbezhi copper project

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Prospect Resources ASX PSC Zambia Mumbezhi Copper Project

Prospect Resources (ASX: PSC) has continued to grow its battery minerals presence in sub-Saharan Africa by acquiring an 85% stake in the Mumbezhi copper project in north-western Zambia.

The company has secured the acquisition with current owner Global Development Co-operation Consulting Zambia (GDC) for a cash consideration of approximately $8.32 million and $1.5m in Prospect shares.

Prospect will also make a $1.5m payment of scrip plus options to Orpheus Uranium (ASX: ORP) – formerly Argonaut Resources – as reimbursement for certain exploration costs at Mumbezhi.

Exploring Mumbezhi

Orpheus has explored Mumbezhi over the past decade with a focus on the Nyungu deposits and has identified substantial prospectivity across several other discoveries in the area.

Work has included the completion of 50 reverse circulation and diamond drill holes for a total of 9,330 metres, returning numerous economic and near-surface intercepts including 71.4 metres grading 0.61% copper from 29.6m, 47m at 0.57% copper from 20m and 90m at 0.46% copper from 12m.

The results are believed to have demonstrated the potential for a low-cost open pit development at the underexplored copper-cobalt asset.

Prospect has agreed to pay Orpheus a further $3.78m in cash on the definition of a mineral resource exceeding 500,000 tonnes of contained copper metal.

For its part, Orpheus has agreed to withdraw any legal claims to the licence area and share all relevant historical geological and mining data with Prospect.

Extending African reach

Prospect chief executive officer Sam Hosack said the acquisition represents a significant milestone that extends the company’s reach into Africa’s battery and electrification mineral sector.

“Mumbezhi includes existing drilling results within a well-established operating environment with the potential to rapidly define a maiden mineral resource,” he said.

“This acquisition is set to deliver a high-quality, advanced copper exploration play into our portfolio, which is an exciting proposition.”

“We are excited to add copper to our portfolio as it provides diversification and Mumbezhi holds the potential to rapidly develop into the flagship project we have been seeking.”

Largest copper province

The Mumbezhi project is located in the Central African Copper Belt—the world’s largest and most prolific mineralised sediment-hosted copper province.

It comprises a single, large-scale exploration licence over an area of approximately 356 square kilometres and is prospective for large tonnage, low-to-medium grade copper-cobalt mineralisation.

The licence was originally granted to GDC in 2021 for a four-year period.

Prospect can renew it for a further three years but the licence area will be reduced in size by 50% as per the initial terms of the grant.

Alternatively, the company can opt to convert the entire licence into contiguous mining licences with no reduction in size based on new applications.

World-class mines

Several other world-class copper mines are located around the Mumbezhi project, including Barrick Gold’s Lumwana copper mine to the north-west as well as Sentinel to the west and Kansanshi to the east, both operated by First Quantum Minerals.

Lumwana has a reported mineral resource of 1.92 billion tonnes grading 0.52% copper for 10 million tonnes of contained metal.

Defined ore reserves are 480Mt at 0.58% copper for 2.8Mt of contained metal at a current 36-year life of mine.