April 4 (miningweekly)-Toronto-based mineral explo- ration company Helio Resources has signed a binding letter of intent with South African junior mining company TransAfrican Minerals in connection with eight licences in Namibia, whereby TransAfrican has the option of earning up to a 70% interest in the licences by solely funding a bankable feasibility study.
The study will last two years. TransAfrican will manage, develop and operate the various projects. The licences that fall under the agreement are Tevrede North, Tevrede West, Tevrede South, Honib, Oasis, Huab, Borwa, and Fransfontein, all of which are located within the lower Proterozoic Age Kamanjab Inlier.
Work completed by Helio to date has identified copper, zinc, silver and gold drill targets at Tevrede North; copper and gold targets at Tevrede South; zinc and lead targets at Honib; and lead, zinc, copper and silver targets at Oasis.
TransAfrican deputy chairperson and president Mohamed Matongo says that TransAfrican sought out a number of junior mining companies with advanced projects in Namibia, and eventually signed with Helio owing to its advanced projects currently in operation in the region.
“Helio has already done extensive exploration in the region, and the first drilling results have been encouraging. Further, Helio also has a number of projects in other African countries, such as Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and Mozambique,” he says.
Matongo adds that, by signing up with Helio, TransAfrican was assured of stability and predictability.
“Professional people run Helio. If they approach us with a project, we know that the dirty work has already been done, and we, therefore, pick up the project, knowing that reli- able people have already assisted the project thoroughly,” he notes.
“We are very bullish about the project. The area we have signed up, located north of Namibia, near the Angolan border, has already seen a lot of exploration, and initial results indicate that there are quality resources in the area.”
He says that, from the inception of TransAfrican, he has defined what makes a successful junior mining company according to three criteria, namely the team one employs, the size and quality of projects, and the location of projects. He says that he spent many months trying to find the right team that understands the industry and the ethos that his company is trying to ascribe to.
“The challenge was to find the right mining company. Luckily enough, Helio is a company that fitted our criteria. Further, Namibia has good infrastructure, and we, therefore, had a compelling case to invest there,” he says.
While TransAfrican’s main focus is pan-Africa, it is also open to projects outside the continent. The company has also latched on to projects in Australia, Indonesia and Mongolia, and has conducted a similar transaction to that with Helios, with Toronto-listed ICS Copper Systems.