Hana Mining could speed trans-Kalahari railway

The dual-listing of Hana Mining Ltd last week on the Foreign Venture Capital Board of the Botswana Stock Exchange (www.bse.co.bw) could bring a giant new cross-Africa railway closer. Hana is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange venture board and the Frankfurt exchange. It plans a copper-silver mine near Ghanzi.

The company’s shares started trading on the BSE on 23 May, according to an announcement. On 14 May the company released its most recent (NI 43-101 compliant) preliminary economic assessment which calls for US$285.5 million initial capital expenditure to create a 10,000 tonne per day open-pit mining and milling operation. This is expected to produce approximately 66.4m pounds of copper and 878,000 ounces of silver annually over a minimum 13-year mine life. It says the Ghanzi property is one of Africa’s premier future copper-silver resources.

Hana Mining’s CEO and Chairman, Marek Kreczmer, was quoted as saying: “The listing of the company’s shares on the BSE is an important step in enhancing the relationship of the Company with the government of Botswana in that it allows the people of Botswana to invest directly in the company and gives the company access to some of the largest investment funds in Africa. Also, by establishing a listing in Botswana, we are aligning the goals of the Company with the people of Botswana.”

The Ghanzi Project covers 2,149 square kilometres in the centre of the Kalahari Copper Belt in northwestern Botswana. Favourable geology extends over an estimated strike length of 600 kilometres. The closest existing railhead to port is at Gobabis, in Namibia, approximately 550 km away. A feasibility study has been carried out with funding from the World Bank and the governments of Botswana and Namibia on completion of a rail link to connect Botswana with the Namibian port of Walvis Bay, on the Atlantic coast. More mining projects will make the railway more likely.

Construction is well advanced on a 600MW expansion of the government-owned Moropule Power Plant, which secured US$825m project funding in May 2009. The Trans-Kalahari highway passes within 15 km of the Ghanzi property, which is also near local population centres and workforce.

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