The permits are valid for three years and contain several pre-defined work commitments consistent with Canyon’s development proposal.
Previous owners of the project defined a large, high-grade and low impurity bauxite deposit of 550 million tonnes averaging 45.5% bauxite and 2.06% silica.
Minim Martap is contiguous to the Birsok Bauxite joint venture with Altus Strategies plc, in which Canyon holds a 75% farm-in interest.
Shares in Canyon were up 64% to 20.5 cents in early trade, a new 12-month high.
Project to satisfy worldwide bauxite deficit
Canyon managing director Phillip Gallagher said the project was alongside an operating rail line that could potentially transport bauxite to the Douala Port and eventually to the new Kribi deep water port.
He said: “We believe that the large scale and quality of the bauxite within the project plus the access to suitable rail and port infrastructure makes [it] a very exciting and transformational opportunity for Canyon.
“This view is supported by the company’s belief that there will be a long term worldwide deficit of high-grade bauxite and the [project] is ideally placed to supply bauxite into this demand.”
Previous drilling at the prospect only tested around 40% of the suitable bauxite plateau within the permit areas.
Canyon believes the deposit offers potential to significantly increase the total tonnage defined to date as well as identify further high-grade zones.
Potential for combined operations
A work team has been assembled in Perth and Cameroon to advance the project according to an aggressive development timetable.
Canyon will conduct exploration activities including diamond, reverse circulation and auger drilling, as well as feasibility studies on mining and transport solutions.
The company will also work towards identifying potential offtake partners and is in discussion with Altus Strategies regarding the combination of the Birsok and Minim Martap operations.
Gallagher said “Canyon has had the benefit of working in Cameroon for the past four and a half years, primarily on the Birsok Bauxite Joint Venture Project with Altus Strategies plc.
“This has provided us with an advanced understanding of the area, the bauxite and the infrastructure solution for the project.”