Raptor Resources has done some impressive work securing a foothold in Zimbabwe’s rich mineral and metals landscape, putting together a portfolio that consists of talented operating subsidiaries and key strategic partners which bring unique localization, as well as logistical benefits to the company’s overall resource development, transport, and sales equation.
RRHI’s tight-knit partnership with one of Zimbabwe’s most experienced construction/mining companies, minority-owned WGB Kinsey & Company, which manages all operations at RRHI’s three current project sites, is a perfect example of how intelligently the company has navigated location risks associated with developing resources in minerals-rich Zimbabwe. This competitive advantage for RRHI has been heightened by the recently announced, World Bank-endorsed plan by the Zimbabwean government to stimulate foreign direct investment, using, among other tools, the formation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that will allow modified investments laws, making it much easier to set up shop and do business.
The government’s plan should play out quite well for acquisition-minded RRHI, which already has a strong market presence supported by firm ties with the indigenous population. This SEZ strategy is a center-piece of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) and World Bank senior economist, Douglas Zhihua Zeng, noted during a recent consultative workshop on SEZs attended by the Senior Minister of State, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, that such zones under Zim-Asset would rapidly accelerate infrastructural and industrial improvements within Zimbabwe, not to mention the obvious employment, skill upgrades, and improved standard of living benefits to the local population.
Between RRHI’s two U.S.-based subsidiaries, Mabwe Minerals Inc. (OTCQB: MBMI), which controls the Dodge Mine in the east, and TAG Minerals Inc., which controls the Raptor Mine in the west (both operating via minority-owned Zimbabwean affiliates), the company now has in their hands essentially an entire mountain range of heavily-mineralized acreage. With metal/mineral rights stretching across a whopping 2.8 miles of prime territory since the addition back in early February of a remaining 612-acre swathe between the two mines to the company’s leasehold (bringing the total up to 1,188 acres), RRHI is now happily engaged in early-stage production of limestone and “world class” quality barite via the Dodge Mine, with a strong developmental backdrop of transition metals copper and nickel over at the Raptor Mine.
Ever since gravity mapping back in 2012 confirmed the abundance of barite across the entire mountain range, RRHI has been keen on securing this remaining acreage and given the proximity/analogous geology of the Raptor Mine to Zimbabwe’s top nickel mine, the Trojan Nickel Mine, RRHI is confident about broadening their resource base. Extant surface sampling measurements on Raptor indicates that the nickel content (1.18% and 1.56%) is above the 1.18% content requirement of the nearby Bindura Smelter and Refinery complex (primary products include high-end nickel cathodes, copper sulphide and cobalt hydroxide), giving RRHI a nice additional stream to bring online via an established refinery which thankfully has ample extra capacity. The broad zone mineralization (198 feet by some 0.93 miles) at Raptor, plus the optimum ultra-mafic host rock composition (low carbonate content compared to Trojan, meaning no expensive flotation reagents will be required), makes the project quite attractive, especially in light of the surface sampling results which suggest the potential for economic recovery at rather shallow depths of only 30 to 65 feet or so. Bullish news for RRHI as nickel prices hit a 14-month peak, driven in large part by supply concerns emanating from the two top global output sources for nickel, as a ban in Indonesia coincides with continued heightening of tensions with the Russian Federation over Ukraine.
Also strengthening the company’s position in Zimbabwe is their acquisition in late March of an established, successful mining company managed by partner WGB Kinsey & Company, the Derbyshire Stone Quarry in southern Harare’s booming residential growth area, which does a slew of quarry products ranging from 10mm and 20mm granite stone, to decomposed granite, crusher run, pit sand/washed river sand, and quarry dust. The Derbyshire is another solid addition to the RRHI portfolio and follows right along with the company’s emphasis on product categories for which there are strong local, as well as global, markets.
Tons of acreage, untapped transition metal potential and broader gold-zinc-lead indicators for the multiple gossan deposits all across the range, in addition to already stated barite, copper, limestone and nickel targets, collectively makes the company’s land position one to envy in Zimbabwe. The strength of this position is rivaled only by how well connected the company is with local officials and how intelligently the company has handled their stewardship/relations.
In terms of overall logistical efficiency, RRHI’s remaining partnerships bring a great deal to the table. Global distribution specialist Steinbock Minerals Ltd., who has an extensive network of customers throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as Yasheya Ltd., a global industrial mineral transport powerhouse who handles the company’s shipping and delivery via the Port of Beira in Mozambique, underscore a commanding regional presence obtained through RRHI’s partnership with Harare’s biggest grain importer, PHI Commodities, with whom RRHI has secured outbound load rights on their fleet of some 80 (National Railways of Zimbabwe) express train-managed rail wagons. RRHI has a straight shot to the Port of Beira for output and a mountain of minerals to sell.
More info on Raptor Resources Holdings is available at www.raptorresourcesholdings.com
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