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Demand for battery metals has dramatically increased in recent years alongside the rise of electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, and consumer electronics. The global battery market is currently estimated at US$120.4 billion and is expected to reach an astounding US$279.7 billion by 2027. Metals such as nickel, lithium, copper and tantalum are necessary to satisfy the ever-growing demand for these batteries.
This is also the exact reason why a country like Namibia continues to prove itself as a key player in this movement due to its rich deposits of battery metals. Plus, with mining contributing approximately 10 percent to its GDP, experts predict that contribution will undoubtedly increase as mining production is expected to increase by 15 percent in 2022, and by an additional 8 percent in 2023. The presence of rich zinc, lithium and cobalt deposits has attracted multiple mining companies to the region in recent years.
Arcadia Minerals (ASX:AM7) is an exploration company that's focused on exploring battery metals located throughout its multiple projects in Namibia, a country known for its rich metal deposits. The company's portfolio is composed of active exploration projects that feature tantalum, nickel, lithium, copper and gold. All of its projects are fully funded and led by a strong management team with decades of experience.
The company's flagship Swanson Project, which covers approximately 19.4 square kilometers, is located in the well-mineralized southern region of Namibia that is largely known for its tantalum deposits. Tantalum is an extremely rare mineral that's required for the production of capacitors that are used in a variety of electronic equipment. The neighboring AIM mine has already produced 594,000 tons of ore. Arcadia Minerals is currently exploring pegmatites to identify targets for future production.
"Battery metals are very important for the new age where renewable energy is the method for supplying the energy and the power necessary. We intend to play a large role [in this field]," said Jurie Wessels, Executive Chairman of Arcadia Minerals, in a recent interview
The company is also led by a strong management team that has a proven track record of leading successful mining projects. Philip Le Roux, CEO of Arcadia Minerals, brings decades of experience leading companies from exploration to production throughout a diverse portfolio of geological landscapes. He currently is managing a team of geologists in Namibia that are moving each of the company's projects forward. The executive team is also experienced in overseeing mining projects within the African continent. The CEO, country manager, and chief geologist all reside in Namibia, which allows them to cultivate a network of consultants and advisors that may allow them to generate additional value for the company.
- Arcadia Minerals has an experienced executive team that has a track record for taking companies from exploration to production
- The company's projects are all located within Namibia
- Each project within Arcadia Mineral's portfolio is focused on minerals that are needed for producing electric vehicles, batteries and other green technologies
- The company currently has an in-country team led by executives that are currently exploring each of the projects. COVID-19 has not caused any delays in their explorative measures.
- Namibia has a strong regional infrastructure that currently supports an established mining industry
The Swanson advanced Tantalum exploration project contains 15 shallow and nearly horizontal pegmatites that are currently being explored. Preliminary testing of the tantalum content within the pegmatites illustrates that the average grade is +420ppm, classifying it as high grade by global standards.
A neighboring mine operated by Kazera Global PLC has produced 594,000 tons of tantalum at a grade of 247ppm. The historical results produced by the nearby mine demonstrate the potential output that may be achievable through the Swanson Tantalum project.
The Swanson project holds the potential to become cash generative utilising inexpensive gravimetric processing methods. The potential cash flow generated from this project could assist the Company to fund further exploration at the other projects.
Kum-Kum Nickel Project
This early-stage exploration project is located in the same area as the Swanson project and covers 787.61 square miles. The Kum-Kum project covers the Kum-Kum Igneous Complex, which has been historically shown to contain nickel and copper with grades ranging from 0.21 to 0.58 percent nickel and 0.30 to 0.50 percent copper. These results are from the 1970s and are the only results that Arcadia Minerals was able to obtain. However, surface sampling completed by Arcadia Minerals returned results of 4.62 percent nickel and 6.3 percent copper.
The project also contains three underexplored mafic complexes with discovery potential for magmatic-hosted Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulfides. Further exploration is required to ascertain more information about these complexes.
Bitterwasser Lithium-in-Brine Project
This project exhibits attributes that are considered inherent to lithium-in-brine deposits. Confirming the presence of lithium-in-brine would reveal a new lithium province in Africa containing this valuable element. The Brukkaros Volcano as a potential source of the lithium, mineralised clay pans in the area, geothermal activity, known brines in water boreholes, favourable geology that supports the forming of a closed basin and an arid climate at similar latitudes than the famous Lithium Triangle in South America also indicate that the Bitterwasser project is very prospective for lithium exploration.
The Bitterwasser Lithium-in-Brine project is supported by environmental and geologic indicators that all indicate the presence of high grades of lithium, both in clay and in brine. Further exploration is required to determine the amount and grade of lithium in this project.
The Karibib Project is located approximately 45 kilometers south of the town of Karibib. This project covers 409.86 square kilometers and is located south of the Navachab Gold Mine, the home of an important gold discovery in 2019.
This project contains a regional magnetic structure that is 1-2 kilometers wide and 20 kilometers in length. A recently completed grab sampling program returned results that confirmed mineralisation in conducive mineralogical environments that is known to yield economic deposits in the area. Average results from 57 sites over the exposed area of the structural feature returned values that include 4.32 % Cu (highest 28.40% Cu), 2.06 g/t Au (highest 26.30 g/t Au) and 50.50 g/t Ag (highest 453 g/t Ag).
Philip Le Roux — Chief Executive Officer
Philip Le Roux has 30 years of experience in exploration, mining and economic geology, with extensive exposure to different geological terrains worldwide. Le Roux commenced his career as a Mine Geologist for Gencor Limited, then became a Mining Analyst for the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and operated as an independent consultant to several junior and mid-tier mining companies. Le Roux has progressed numerous projects from greenfields to feasibility and into production. Le Roux was responsible for progressing the projects that are the subject of the acquisitions by Arcadia from a technical point of view. Le Roux is a member of the Geological Society of South Africa and holds an Honours Degree in Geology from the University of Stellenbosch.
Jurie Wessels — Executive Chairman
Jurie Wessels has 24 years' experience in the exploration industry and co-founded a number of exploration and mining companies including public companies such as Bauba Resources Ltd (BAU.J), GoldStone Resources Ltd (GRL.L), and Vanadium Resources Ltd (ASX:VR8) where he is currently executive chairman. Wessels has in depth experience in the creation, funding and management of exploration and mining companies. He also formed various exploration companies active in Africa, South America and Europe and practiced as a minerals lawyer up to 2003, but is still admitted as an attorney (non-practicing) and a notary of the High Court of South Africa.
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