Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (LON:CMCL) has announced that it has purchased Motapa Mining Company UK Limited, the parent company of a Zimbabwe subsidiary which holds a registered mining lease over the Motapa gold exploration property in Southern Zimbabwe (“Motapa” or the “Project”). The Company has made the purchase from Bulawayo Mining Company Limited, a privately owned UK company. The purchase price is undisclosed but is below the regulatory disclosure threshold.
· Caledonia considers Motapa to be highly prospective and strategically important to its growth ambitions in Zimbabwe in terms of both location and scale.
· Motapa is a large exploration property which is contiguous to the Bilboes gold project in respect of which Caledonia announced that it had entered into a binding sale and purchase agreement in July 2022.
· The Project was formerly owned and explored by Anglo American Zimbabwe prior to its exit from the Zimbabwean gold sector in the late 1990s. The Project is approximately 75km north of Bulawayo with a mining lease covering approximately 2,200 hectares.
· The Motapa asset has been mined throughout most of the second half of the 20th century, Caledonia Mining understands that during this period the region produced as much as 300,000oz of gold. Whilst none of the mining infrastructure remains, the evidence of historical mining will provide guidance to our exploration team in best understanding the prospectivity of the region.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Learmonth, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We are pleased to have concluded the purchase of Motapa. Given its large scale, excellent geological prospectivity and its strategic location adjacent to Bilboes, Motapa was a high priority acquisition for Caledonia. We look forward to developing an exploration program for Motapa as we target a large-scale gold belt surrounding the Bilboes project.
“With the central shaft at Blanket now fully operational and production targeting 80,000 ounces of gold per year we anticipate that we will deploy the incremental cash flow arising from Blanket into our exciting exploration and project development portfolio in Zimbabwe.
“The acquisition of Motapa following the signing of a sale and purchase agreement to acquire Bilboes and the acquisition of Maligreen demonstrates that over the last 12 months Caledonia has established a pipeline of high-quality exploration and development projects. This is in addition to the potential for further growth at Blanket where we are optimistic about its exploration potential.”
The image below illustrates the location of Motapa in comparison to the Bilboes project:
Note that the Bilboes claim boundary is not limited to the area highlighted in the image