Australian Securities Exchange-listed copper company Noronex has expanded its interest in the Kalahari Copper Belt by acquiring an additional 25% stake in the Witvlei Joint Venture (JV) property.

The move has increased Noronex’s share from 70% to 95% in the JV property, and also increases its holding in key projects in the Kalahari Copper Belt and cancels the terms of the previous JV agreement.

For this acquisition, Noronex’s subsidiary Larchmont Investments issued 5.5 million shares to Thunder Gold and has agreed to make a deferred cash payment of $1m, contingent upon the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).

Aloe Investments Two Hundred Thirty Seven (Aloe 237), the JV entity, holds 100% of Noronex’s key licences in the Kalahari Copper Belt, which includes the advanced Witvlei and Dordabis projects.

Witvlei Project, situated at the western end of the Kalahari Copper Belt, boasts a Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC) (2012) Compliant Mineral Resource of ten million tonnes (mt) at 1.3% Cu.

On the other hand, Dordabis Project, home to the Koperberg deposit, has a JORC (2012) Resource of 1.2mt at 1.1% copper (Cu).

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Noronex is currently in the process of divesting its Dordabis project, with Thunder Gold set to receive a 25% share of the net proceeds if the sale concludes within six months.

On 12 November 2020, Noronex agreed to acquire an 80% interest in Larchmont Investments, which had an existing JV/earn-in agreement with Thunder Gold.

The JV terms included a pathway to a 70% stake and an option for an additional 25% post-feasibility studies, with 5% to be held by a local Namibian entity as per exclusive prospecting licence terms.

With the completion of this deal, Noronex’s subsidiary Larchmont has boosted its holding in Aloe 237 to 95%, thereby consolidating its assets in the Kalahari Copper Belt.

Noronex’s portfolio in Namibia covers 800,000ha within the highly prospective but relatively under-explored Kalahari Copper Belt, which runs from central Namibia into northern Botswana.

The company’s exploration ground portfolio in Namibia now encompasses 300km of the NPF/D’Kar contact, a geological feature that hosts major copper deposits in the belt.

Its projects range from advanced to early-stage, with the potential for discovery of significant sedimentary copper deposits.

Noronex executive director James Thompson said: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of an additional 25% interest in the JV vehicle that controls the Witvlei Copper Project, part of our extensive licence holding in the world-class Kalahari Copper Belt.

“The increase in our JV interest to 95% significantly consolidates Noronex’s position on the belt and provides improved optionality for the further development of our Kalahari Copper Belt Projects.”