Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd. signed a framework agreement with Gécamines, the DRC-state mining corporation that owns the Kipushi mine, in 1996 to develop a program of rehabilitation for Kipushi. This agreement was extended in 1998. Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd. has so far spent approximately $3.5 million on work to identify commercially viable rehabilitation options.
In early August, 2000, Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd. concluded an option agreement with Zinc Corporation of South Africa Limited ("Zincor") to participate in the redevelopment of Kipushi. The option agreement, which has the approval of both Gécamines and the applicable regulatory authorities, resulted from Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd.'s desire to find a partner with the most appropriate financial and technical resources, strategic vision and regional commitment to meet the needs of the project.
Zincor confirmed to Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd. in December 2000 that it intended to exercise its option. The decision followed four months of due diligence by Zincor and the completion by Zincor of a preliminary scoping study into economics of the project and options for its development.
On January 29, 2002, Congolese Zinc Investments Ltd. and Zinc Corporation of South Africa, a 100% owned subsidiary of Kumba Resources and since renamed Kumba Base Metals (Kumba) finalized a joint venture agreement to govern the evaluation and development of the Kipushi zinc mine. This agreement formalizes the relationship between Adastra and Kumba, grants Kumba the right to earn an interest of up to 50% by the subsciption of up to US$ 3.50 million and lays the foundation for a new company to manage the furture operations of the mine. Kumba’s contribution will be expended on a bankable feasibility study, with any balance as an equity contribution to the capital cost of the mine's development.
In September 2005, Adastra renewed its joint venture agreement with Kumba for the potential redevelopment of the Kipushi zinc/copper mine. In addition, a technical and economic assessment was undertaken to determine its potential commercial viability in current market conditions, to appriase the mine's physical condition, and to identify key areas for detailed investigation in a subsequent feasibility study and associated Environmental and Socail Impact Assessment.
The next step in the process is to complete negotiations with Gécamines regarding the appropriate fiscal regime determined with the Government of the DRC, a feasibility study would then be conducted which would determine the optimum economic approach for the project.
Kumba is the largest producer of refined zinc in Africa with a 115,000 tonnes per annum electrolytic zinc plant at Springs, near Johannesburg. It is also a major producer of high-purity sulfuric acid. It is the dominant producer of zinc in the SADAC region, and has considerable experience in zinc refining and production.
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The No.5 Mine Shaft above is the main access shaft for personnel, equipment and ore. It is adjacent to the new concentrator and approximately 2km from the old concentrator facilities.
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