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ACR Prioritises Projects

AFRICAN Consolidated Resources (ACR), whose long-term strategy was to be a multi-mineral company, is now prioritising projects with particular attention on metal prices and proximity to production to get the greatest medium-term and long-term benefit.

This refocusing has been made possible by the cash resources that the mining company has raised, especially the US$16 million realised through private placement last month.

Other factors the company said it would look at when prioritising projects include cost effectiveness of expenditure, practical constraints and approximate relative net present value.

Gold would get the highest priority, ACR chief executive Andrew Crainswick said.

“It is not difficult to predict that on the back of our defined assets together with current trends, our more advanced and larger gold projects will naturally rise to the surface in such a matrix and therefore we will be aiming much of our effort towards defining resources and resource expansions at our Gadzema Belt (that is Blue Rock, Giant mines and strike extensions) and Pickstone-Peerless ore bodies” said Crainswick on Tuesday. “In this regard drilling will commence in the first week of December 2009.

Other gold projects will not be orphaned and we will continue advancing these up the value chain, especially the very promising Chakari-North Greenstone Belt which has yielded strong geochemical signatures in several areas.”

Under a tolling agreement with TWP Group, which was concluded last month, ACR would soon commence gold extraction from one of the tailing dumps at Pickstone.

This is ACR’s first extraction of cash value from a mineral asset and the post-tax and royalty cashflow which is expected to exceed US$400 000 monthly would be used to advance other projects towards pre-feasibility.

“Much of the capital expenditure risk will be borne by our tolling partner and the plant and equipment will be deployable for future projects on and off the current site, in partnership with TWP,” said Crainswick.

Apart from the benefits which would be realised from favourable gold prices, ACR also wants to capitalise on rock phosphate.

Rock phosphate is a food- and bio-fuel-linked resource that has no substitute and is part of a fundamental requirement of plant and animal growth.

There is a significant tonnage of raw material and igneous rock phosphate with some high-grade zones within the claims owned by ACR and there is potential for near mine value addition.

ACR also has two nickel projects in the country and they have maintained that despite the depressed prices they would continue with exploration.

Other projects which will be the target for exploratory drilling with the potential for subsequent resource definition include the company’s Cedric copper tenements in Makonde and the Chakari Greenstone Belt.

ACR also has claims at Marange Diamond Fields, which were confirmed by the High Court but they have not been able to move in mainly because this has been challenged at the Supreme Court and at the same time the state owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation has continued mining activities.


Leonard Makombe

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