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Deep-South takes Namibia’s mining minister to court over licence refusal

The Haib copper deposit is in the extreme south of Namibia close to the border with South Africa, which is defined by the course of the Orange River. (Image courtesy of Deep-South Resources.)

Canada’s Deep-South Resources (TSX-V: DSM) is taking the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy to court as it refused in June to renew the company’s prospecting licence for its Haib copper project.

The Vancouver-based miner had warned it would contest the decision “by all means necessary” as it said it had clearly demonstrated that it had met all the criteria to justify a renewal.

The application, which also targets the Mining Commissioner and Orange River Exploration and Mining, seeks an urgent interdict to prevent the government from granting exploration or mining rights over the same licence area to another company.

Deep-South also seeks to prevent the government from granting exploration or mining rights over the same licence area to another company

Orange River is named in the suit as a possible interested party in the matter as it applied for an exclusive prospecting licence extending over the Haib copper deposit on November 12 last year.

From April 2017 to April 2021, Deep-South invested more than C$2 million ($1.6m) on the project, including an updated preliminary economic assessment. The miner has also proposed a C$7.1 million feasibility study and C$25.5 million pilot plant.

Since receiving news of the licence refusal, Deep-South has halted all work on the project and laid off its employees on site.

The company had acquired the remainder of the project in 2017 from Teck Resources, which is one of its major shareholders.

The updated PEA in December had put Haib’s after-tax NPV7.5 at $957 million and IRR at 29.7% using a $3/lb copper price, envisaging a 24-year mine producing 35,332 tonnes per annum copper cathodes and 51,080tpa copper sulphate.

Deep-South said it was also investigating its international legal options and will disclose its strategy in due course.

The company’s shares have fallen almost 63% in the last month and were trading last at 4.5c, valuing it at C$6.6 million ($5.4m).

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