Eastinco Mining forms new joint venture in Southern Rwanda
(EM.P) said it has formally signed a new joint venture agreement with a Rwandan entity to expand its portfolio and strengthen its exploration holdings in the area.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Eastinco will incorporate a new JV Company, Kinunga Mining ("KML" or "JVCo"), in Rwanda and hold 70% of the issued share capital in Kinunga.
As part of the agreement, Eastinco’s JV Partner, an unnamed Rwandan entity, will hold 30% in KML as a free-carried interest and entitled to Board representation on the new company.
The UK-based investment company, formerly Equatorial Mining and Exploration, said the partnership will allow it to explore and develop mineral opportunities over an area covering 2,750 hectares in southern Rwanda on which the JV Partner holds a licence for the exploration and development of tantalum, niobium, tin and tungsten metal resources.
Specifically, the licence area lies in the Huye and Nyanza Districts, approximately 65 km southwest of the Rwandan capital city of Kigali. The Mineral Exploration Licence, which is valid for an initial period of four years, was awarded to the JV Partner on 15 March 2021.
The licence, which will be transferred into KML upon its incorporation, has a contiguous western licence boundary with Eastinco's existing Huye joint venture. As a result, Eastinco said it will form a significant hub for southern exploration activities where it can establish onsite accommodation, offices and storage to facilitate the exploration of these projects.
It said the licence area has ‘encouraging elements of an existing pegmatite swarm, with two identified occurrences readily available for immediate geological prospecting and evaluation.’
Eastinco told investors that the known pegmatites from the licence ‘form an encouraging exploration target with considerable upside exploration potential if the tantalum grade distribution along the strike and depth extensions can be proven.’ If so, EME said its landholding in the Huye District will comprise a significant new pegmatite field in Rwanda.
The Company, which believe the joint venture transaction marks “another step” towards its goal of building a metal exploration and development company, said further prospecting is planned over the entire licence area to potentially identify additional mineralised targets.
Chairman, Charles Bray stated: “This transaction dramatically expands our portfolio and strengthens our exploration holdings in an area with tremendous potential to greater than 3,150 hectares. It was a priority to obtain additional exposure to an area where we believe there exists strong potential for economic discovery of these important and valuable critical metals and our CEO, Simon Rollason and the team deserve praise for this accomplishment.”
He said, “We will continue to seek to broaden our exposure to critical minerals to reap the corresponding positive benefits to all stakeholders. We look forward to updating our shareholders in due course with additional strategic developments relating to our plans".
The Board said it continues to evaluate opportunities to grow its asset portfolio and further updates will be provided to the market should any of them progress. In April 2021, the Company stated that it has available cash and cash equivalents of around US$0.325m.
Eastinco Mining & Exploration is an investment company established in 2012 to pursue the exploration, development, and trading of African industrial mineral assets. Eastinco is listed on the London Aquis exchange, with focus on tin, tungsten and tantalum mining in Africa.
In its final results for FY2019, Eastinco said 2019 was a year of restructuring in its parent company, EME plc, and investment and development of initial operations in the group’s newly acquired Rwandan registered subsidiary company, Eastinco Limited ("EME Ltd").
Eastinco said 2019 was a year of corporate restructuring where it developed a new operational direction. It now has a clear strategy to invest in small-scale producing and near-production assets’, which the group believes can produce near-term revenues.
To achieve this goal, the Company made the required start-up investment in capital equipment to ready the site for operations in 2020 at the Kuaka Mine site in Rwanda.
Since the end of FY19, Eastinco has continued with the development of its mechanised wash plant at the Kuaka mine site. The group recently completed the Kuaka site wash plant and are now in the process of commissioning the plant to optimise its productive capability.
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