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Namibia’s nickel projects: Emerging players in the global market for critical resources

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Namibia may not boast nickel reserves on par with South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Madagascar, but significant developments are underway. According to the Nickel Institute, global nickel resources are estimated at nearly 350 million tons, with South Africa, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe holding notable shares.

Namibia’s nickel projects, including the Kunene Nickel Project, the Kum-Kum Nickel Project, and the Grootfontein Nickel Projects, are still in early exploration stages. African Nickel, founded by Rudolf de Bruin and Dr. David Twist in 2006, holds a 75% interest in EPL 7609 and 7610, encompassing the Kunene Nickel Project. Although small, the projects inherited from Anglo-American Corp have shown promise, particularly the Ombuku prospect, where African Nickel has conducted extensive exploration activities.

Since taking over the Kunene project, African Nickel has conducted various surveys, including geophysical surveys and extensive drilling, yielding promising results. Notably, five out of eleven drill holes have revealed mineralized zones above 0.3% NiEq. The company has also progressed with pit shell optimization and commissioned studies on mining feasibility and metallurgical strategy.

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Similarly, the Kum-Kum Nickel Project, owned by Arcadia Minerals, has shown potential for magmatic-hosted Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulphide deposits. Historical exploration by Rio Tinto and Falconbridge demonstrated significant nickel-copper mineralization, indicating high discovery potential.

The Grootfontein Nickel-Copper project, now owned by Sylla Gold, holds promise despite previous shallow drilling efforts by Anglo-American and Ongopolo Mining. The project covers a vast area with potential for magmatic copper-nickel deposits.

Although Namibia’s nickel reserves may not rival those of its neighbors, ongoing exploration activities and promising results suggest a bright future for the country’s nickel industry. As global demand for nickel continues to rise, Namibia’s emerging projects could play a significant role in the global nickel market.

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