Marula is actively looking to increase its investments in advanced mining and exploration projects and companies that are located throughout East, Central and Southern Africa and which have the potential to produce critical metals and commodities for export and use in the global green economies.
Currently, Marula has interests and investments in the Blesberg Lithium, and Tantalum Mine in South Africa and the Nkombwa Hill Niobium, Tantalum, Rare Earths and Phosphate Project in Zambia.
Marula continues to identify investment opportunities in other mines and advanced projects and is currently reviewing a number of opportunities in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
An advanced project comprising the former producing Blesberg Mine located in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The Blesberg Mine is one of the largest known mineralised pegmatite deposits in the Northern Cape pegmatite belt.
• Historic production from the Blesberg Mine included spodumene concentrate (containing lithium), tantalite, as well as feldspar, bismuth, beryl and mica.
• Historic samples collected from the Blesberg Mine in 2016 assayed between 1.27% and 6.42% Li2O from six of the 20 samples taken.
• Previous drilling and trenching in 2017 at the Blesberg mine confirmed areas of spodumene lithium mineralisation present in the highly zoned pegmatites - this drilling successfully increased the known strike length of the main pegmatite by over one kilometre in length with significant widths of pegmatite intersected.
• Historic exploration and feasibility study work focused on the production of high-value feldspar and by-product production of spodumene concentrate and tantalite.
• Due diligence work has led the Company to believe there is potential to increase the spodumene (lithium) resources in the pegmatites with the view to accelerate new mine development given the robust market conditions and market pricing of lithium concentrates.
• Marula is now looking to commence bulk sampling and establish a pilot plant to test a representative sample and determine recoveries, whilst reviewing previous work at the Project. Following this, the Company will seek to commence small scale operations, and a broader drilling programme to ascertain the extent and depth of the potential ore body.
NKOMBWA HILL NIOBIUM, TANTALUM, RARE EARTHS AND PHOSPHATE PROJECT
A major mineralised carbonate complex located in North-East Zambia.
• Previous exploration has defined a JORC 2012 Compliant Total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 21.8 million tonnes ("Mt") at a grade of 7.06% P2O5 and 1.17% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREOs") at a 3.0% P2O5 cut-off.
• As a subset of the Total Mineral Resource above, a Mineral Resource of 2.78Mt at a grade of 2.76% TREO and 6.43% P2O5 at a 1.0% TREO cut-off grade was defined.
• The reported Total Mineral Resource was defined on an area of less than 5% of the Nkombwa Hill deposit and highlights the significant resource upside potential that exists for both phosphate, rare earth elements and also tantalum and niobium mineralisation.
• The Board believes that there is potential for the Nkombwa Project to deliver near term cash flow, with low initial capital costs, through the phased development of the near surface Rare Earth Element ("REE") ore bodies and, subject to further exploration, tantalum and niobium mineralisation into a small-scale mining operation within the next 6-9 months subject to permitting consent.
• In conjunction with the near-term production, the Company intends to carry out a systematic exploration programme to fully assess the phosphate, rare earth elements and tantalum and niobium mineralisation and report Mineral Resources in accordance with the JORC 2012 Code.
• Marula will also seek to conduct preliminary metallurgical extractive test work to identify the most efficient package to successfully extract the phosphate and REE resources, and identify the size and composition of the additional phosphate and rare earth resources