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Namibia denies licence renewal for Haib copper project

The government of Namibia has denied Deep-South’s application for the renewal of its exclusive prospecting licence for its Haib copper project.

Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo made the announcement and said the Ministry refused to renew the licence again due to the company’s inability to advance the EPL to prefeasibility study (PFS) stage and to complete the proposed drilling programme as planned.

Haib copper-molybdenum mine is a large porphyry deposit located at the southern end of Namibia and close to the South African border. The Haib copper-molybdenum mine lies in the Karas region in the exclusive prospecting licence 3140 (EPL 3140).

Termination of work

Deep-South Resources’s President and CEO Pierre Léveillé maintains that the the Ministry was kept well apprised, with no objection on their part, of a proposed change from the Pre-Feasibility study to upgraded Preliminary Economic Assessment and commencement of a full feasibility study. Moreover, the Ministry issued all permits required for the drilling program and are well aware that Deep-South has completed the drilling program.

In its application for renewal and subsequent representations made to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Deep-South maintains that it “clearly demonstrated” having met all criteria under the Act to justify the renewal of its licence.

It said in the past two tenures, from April 2017 to April 2021, it had invested more than C$2 million on Haib, including an updated preliminary economic assessment, and had proposed a US $7.1 million feasibility study and US $25.5 million pilot plant. Drilling results in May had included 152.34m at 0.47% copper-equivalent from surface. However a day after last week’s meeting, the company said it received a notice from the minister confirming the renewal had been refused.

“As a result of the minister’s refusal to renew the licence, the company has terminated all work on site and has proceeded with the retrenchment of its employees on site,” said Deep-South in the statement.

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