Cupric to spend $200m to build Botswana copper mine

GABORONE – Cupric Canyon Capital, a private equity firm backed by a unit of Barclays Plc, will spend $200-million to bring its copper-silver mine in Botswana to production, the company said on Tuesday.

Construction of the mine, which will be built by Cupric’s Botswana unit Khoemacau, is set to start in 2016 with the first copper expected to be shipped to the markets in 2018.

Cupric acquires undeveloped copper assets with the aim of developing them and then exiting via sales or a public listing.

Cupric’s Africa chief executive Sam Rasmussen told reporters the mine would produce 50 000 t of copper and 1.8-million ounces of silver per year.

“The cost of the mine would have been much higher had it not been for the processing plant we have acquired,” he said.

Khoemacau recently concluded a deal to buy the mothballed Boseto Mine, which is 30 km (18 miles) away from its new mines site.

Khoemacau country manager Johannes Tsimako said the company is in negotiations with the government to connect the northwestern copper region to the electricity national grid.

Sparsely-populated Botswana is the world’s top diamond producer and the government is keen to diversify the economy to reduce its dependence on gem production and sales.

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