Discovery Metals has secured approval to develop the Zeta underground mine at the Boseto copper project in Botswana.

The Bostwana Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources had amended the mining licence no. 2010/99L at Boseto to include the Zeta underground mine.

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The approval will enable underground mining to start following the completion of the re-capitalisation proposal with Montsant Partners.

Discovery Metals CEO Bob Fulker said the approval will enable the development of the company’s underground mining programme to progress and is consistent with its new overall strategic direction to develop underground mineral resources.

"The establishment of the Zeta underground mine will significantly lengthen the life of the Boseto operation."

The company said the establishment of the Zeta underground mine will significantly lengthen the life of the Boseto operation and provide longer and consistent access to high-quality mineralisation.

Discovery Metals noted that there is also the potential for two more underground mines, north-east Mango two and Zeta north-east.

The planned Zeta underground mine will produce about 1.5 million tonnes a year, at 1.3% copper grading.

The company intends to supply sufficient ore from three planned underground mines to keep the 3.2 million tonne a year Boseto concentrator at maximum throughput and efficiency.

Copper exploration and production firm Discovery Metals is focused on the Kalahari Copperbelt in north-west Botswana.

The Kalahari copperbelt sediment-hosted mineralisation of the Boseto copper project is similar to the large deposits of the Central African copperbelt of Zambia, and that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Discovery Metals has prospecting licences covering about 26,150km² in Botswana.