History expedites GVM plans

PERTH-based GVM Metal could begin mining at its Baobab coal project in South Africa as early as 2009 after it yesterday acquired exploration data from Exxaro Resources.

Angie Tomlinson

GVM purchased the historical database and geological modelling information, which Exxaro gathered during exploration activities in the area during the 1970s and 1980s, for $A3.3 million.

The data was generated from 1200 boreholes.

GVM deputy managing director Nonkqubela Mazwai said the database gave the company the opportunity to bring the Fripp and Tanga farms - two of the 16 properties comprising the Baobab project - into production 18 months earlier than previously thought.

"Subject to permitting from the Department of Minerals and Energy, it is a real possibility that we could be mining in 2009. The coal seam at Fripp and Tanga is 30 metres thick with favourable strike length, recoveries and qualities," he said.

In other news, GVM announced it had finalised the acquisition of 100% of various portions of Wildebeesfontein, which is situated adjacent to the company's Holfontein property.

"The acquisition of Wildebeesfontein gives Holfontein a good increase in scale – and with the dramatic increase in export coal prices the economics of the 5 seam, which is a semi-soft coking coal, have improved significantly," managing director Simon Farrell said.

He added that Holfontein was on track with the bankable feasibility study underway, along with the environmental impact study and social and labour planning.

GVM was trading midmorning at $1.32.