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Perth-based coal and base metals explorer Nimrodel Resources is extending its diversification strategy and is embarking on the creation of a copper business unit, following the announcement of a copper deal in Tanzania.

The company has executed a Heads of Agreement for the right to acquire an 85% interest in a contiguous grouping of 54 primary mining licences (PMLs) in the copper mining area of Kigoma in western Tanzania.

Nimrodel’s MD, Allan Mulligan, says:“The extension of our copper holdings in the Kigoma region and the option to explore and acquire these PMLs, which are already held under mining licence and are ready for consolidation into a mining licence, establish the platform upon which we can build a significant regional presence.”

“Our legal entry – right into the heart of the artisanal mining area – will fast track our exploration programme, providing ready-to-go drill targets.”

The 54 PMLs are located next to the Luhwanya and Malingumu diggings where copper oxide ore is bagged and despatched to Kigoma for rail transport to Dar es Salaam. No known workings have been carried out on the PML grouping.

In Tanzanian mining law, a PML may not exceed more than 10 ha in area but holders may accumulate them into larger groupings that can then be converted into mining licences by application and with the submission of a suitable environmental impact report.

“Our strategy is one of consolidating these small holdings and it is our intention to accumulate contiguous PMLs until there are enough to sustain reasonable sized mining operations,” says Mulligan.

In this Heads of Agreement and subject to the free right to terminate at any time, Nimrodel will pay US$43 200 (R387 156) for a one year option to explore the entire group of PMLs and US$50 000 to explore in the second year. NMRalso has the option to purchase 85% of the mineral rights within the PMLs at any time for a once off US$350 000 payment.

Inspection of the area and interpretation of geological and geophysical data has identified the Kigoma area to be a viable base metal target with promising styles of mineralisation such as sediment hosted copper and mafic extrusive flood basalt nickel-copper-platinum group mineralisation. Grades of up to 13% in copper oxide have been recorded in the region.

Nimrodel’s current focus is on two adjacent thermal coal projects in Botswana, approximately 195km west of the capital Gaborone. In August 2012, the company announced an upgraded inferred resource of 6.9 billion tonnes of raw coal, giving a total of 4.51 billion tonnes of washed thermal coal.

The company is also exploring at the Specimen Reef IOCG target in Tasmania and holds the Makete high grade PGE project in south western Tanzania.

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