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Metal Tiger retains focus on Kalahari copper belt amidst rapid activity

The miner now plans to begin a fuller feasibility study as the Botswana government grants permission for an expanded drilling area around the T3 Dome
Copper Wiring
The deposit, in which Metal Tiger holds a 30% stake, is a joint venture with Australian miner MOD Resources Ltd

The fact that it seemingly never stops moving means it can be difficult to pin down what is going on at Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR).

However, throughout the last few months there has been one consistent story, that of its T3 copper and now silver project in Botswana.

READ: Botswana grants permission for drilling on 680 square kilometre T3 Dome area jointly owned by Metal Tiger and MOD Resources

The deposit, in which Metal Tiger holds a 30% stake, is a joint venture with Australian miner MOD Resources Ltd (ASX:MOD) and sits in the Kalahari copper belt that extends from northern Botswana into Namibia.

A Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) Base Case in January for the T3 Open Pit indicated an estimated US$730mln of underlying earnings (EBITDA) over 9 years, which rises to US$1.1bn over 12 years.

The PFS also indicated a net pre-tax cashflow of US$530mln, inclusive of development capital, annual free cash flow of US$77mln before tax from the start of production and a payback from production start of 2.7 years.

In its conclusion, the PFS stated that T3 offers “a low-risk, low capital pathway to copper production supported by improving confidence in the long-term consensus copper price”.

Michael McNeilly, Metal Tiger’s chief executive said: “The fact that the JV has taken from discovery to a very robust PFS in little more than twenty-two months is tantamount to the level of work and commitment all the stakeholders have put in to the project.

Next steps at T3

A fuller feasibility study is next for the project, with drill targets around the T3 Dome including an initial 10 high priority untested Airborne Electromagnetic geophysics anomalies that are thought to be related to lithological formation conductors.

The project has also received approval for its Environmental Management Plan from the Botswanan government, expanding the available drilling area within the T3 Dome to around 680 square kilometres.

At the same time, it added that a major regional exploration programme is also underway focussing on targets outside the T3 area – testing areas such as the ‘T3 Dome’, ‘T20 Dome’ and ‘T Rex’ targets.

The plan is to replicate the approach taken in the discovery of the T3 Open Pit area such as soil sampling, geophysics & drill testing.

Metal Tiger’s stake in T3 is held both directly through the joint venture and indirectly through a holding in MOD, where the size of the stake has recently risen to a little over 6%, worth around A$6.1mln (£3.34mln). 

Kingsgate

T3‘s importance to the group has grown after its plans for Kingsgate were rejected by the Aussie group’s shareholders.

In January, the group sold its remaining shares in Kingsgate raising A$3.4mln in the process.

Thailand on hold

The firm has also shelved plans for an initial public offering of its Thai joint venture at the Song Toh and Boh Yai mines, citing uncertainty over development plans.

Asset trading

In addition to its direct investments, the company also has an asset trading division. In February the company acquired a 4.23% stake, worth around £127,746, in Connemara Mining Company PLC (LON:CON) in a private placing.

Metal Tiger also has an almost 11% stake, worth around £1.6mln, in Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR), with chief executive Michael McNeilly saying: “We like tungsten as a play…they’ve got an excellent team there”.

As of 13 April 2018, Metal Tiger is worth £21.63mln.

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