AIM-listed phosphate mine development company Kropz may be looking to bring its Western Cape-based Elandsfontein operation into production early in 2020.

However, its focus beyond this is significantly larger. On the back of two new recently acquired phosphate assets, including an advanced stage project in the Republic of Congo, the company is targeting the production of 3 Mtpa of phosphate rock within the next five years, writes LAURA CORNISH.

Operational and environmental challenges at Elandsfontein, a project completed in 2017, have undoubtedly prevented Kropz from delivering on its earlier production aspirations.

Its unfortunate history is now – to a large extent – ‘water under the bridge’.

Having successfully listed on the AIM market in November 2018 where it raised US$35 million, the company has secured the necessary cash to complete essential process plant upgrades at Elandsfontein, in order to bring the operation into production early in 2020 and delivering a steady-state +850 000 tpa (and potentially closer to 1 Mtpa) production of phosphate rock towards the middle of the year.

“While this may be a primary focus and objective, we have spent recent months growing our potential production pipeline with the intention of becoming an integrated mine-to-market plant nutrient company focused on sub-Saharan African,” says Kropz CEO Ian Harebottle.

Hinda – Republic of Congo

On 1 November 2018, Kropz made an all share offer to acquire Cominco Resources, which through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cominco S.A., enabled the acquisition of its 100% owned Hinda phosphate project.

This is expected to be diluted to 90% through the participation of the Republic of Congo (RoC).

A sedimentary phosphate deposit covering more than 260 km² of the RoC’s coastal basin, Hinda has a JORC-compliant mineral resource base of 675 Mt at a grade of 10%, with 86% in the measured and indicated categories. It also has 404.9 Mt in reserves.

“It is believed to be one of the largest, undeveloped phosphate reserves in the world,” Harebottle highlights.

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