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Namibian State Miner Finds Partners to Seek for Diamonds, Gold

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Epangelo Mining Co., a Namibian state-owned investment company, said it has found partners for half the 39 licenses it was awarded to explore for diamonds, uranium, copper, gold, zinc and rare earth metals.

Some of the joint-venture partners have paid “commitment fees,” Eliphas Hawala, managing director of Windhoek-based Epangelo, said in an interview yesterday. He declined to name the companies and said Epangelo will soon seek partners for the remaining license areas.

The government granted Epangelo exclusive exploration rights in 2011 as the company builds its presence in the mining industry. Hawala said Epangelo would consider ceding majority stakes to its partners should they be prepared to finance the projects and bring them to commercial production.

“If an investor meets certain milestones, we will also be reducing our shareholding to agreed levels,” Hawala said.

Epangelo is jointly exploring for zinc and other base metals with Vedanta Resources Plc’s Skorpion mine and refinery and for nuclear fuels at the Lofdal license area of Toronto-listed Namibia Rare Earths Inc.

Namibia, the world’s biggest offshore diamond miner and the fourth-largest uranium producer, established Epangelo in 2008. The company holds a 10 percent stake in Husab uranium mine, which is developing the world’s fourth-largest deposit of the nuclear fuel, and 10 percent of Kombat copper mine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Felix Njini in Windhoek at fnjini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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