·Bezant Resources owns the huge Mankayan project in the Philippines, where it is looking for a partner.
·Its latest move is into Zambia, where it has taken an option on the small Buffalo project
·Partner is also being sought for Eureka, a copper/gold prospect in Argentina
·A share reorganisation is being planned to allow Bezant to raise funds to move forward all of its prospects
What it owns
The size of the project coupled with the difficult tax regime in the Philippines has made this difficult, but fiscal changes in the country and a better mood over copper generally had made Bezant more optimistic.
“The potential will be recognised as copper prices improve and mid-tier/major industry players renew their search for sizeable emerging copper projects," said Colin Bird, executive chairman.
An estimate in 2009 pointed to an indicated 1.1mln tonnes of contained copper and 3.7mln ounces of contained gold.
A more recent study in February outlined several options for developing the large copper project.
These included a smaller scale lower cost sub-level caving operation and two larger block caving options.
Bezant also a small project in Argentina at Eureka where work is underway on environmental permits, which should be completed in the second quarter.
Here, like Mankayan, Bezant is looking for a partner to take the project forward.
In April, Bezant made a move into Zambia, where for a spend of US$200,000 it has an option over the Buffalo copper project.
A review of the historic data and site visit suggests that the steeply-dipping target shear zone is open at depth and to the southwest into the Buffalo hill.
Mapping of the pit and surrounding area is now planned alongside sampling and trenching, which might lead eventually to a drill programme.
One of the key elements of this further work will be to compare the data obtained from the site visit with the known characteristics of the existing mining operations in the region, said Bezant
What the boss says: Laurence Read, CEO
There has been a change in mood for the better over copper assets and operating in the Philippines Read told Proactive, which will help the Mankayan project.
If it was in Utah, there would a number of potential buyers
In the meantime, he says Buffalo is a project more in keeping with Bezant’s size and profile.
“What we wanted is an asset with data, drilled holes a clear pattern of understanding where something has been overlooked and that we can improve and take forward.
“That way we can spend at the rate we want and explore within an existing framework of data.”
Activity at the new Buffalo prospect
Possible partner at Mankayan or Eureka
New fiscal regime for mining in the Philippines
BHP has suggested 105 kilogrammes of copper could be required in the manufacture of every electric car.
That would suggest future copper demand for use in electric vehicles at something like 12mln tonnes per year, or more than half of the current global market for refined copper.