Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, Byrnecut will commit to providing local employment and skills transfer in addition to the development and production duties. Additionally, it will collaborate with local black economic empowerment (BEE) enterprises.
"The agreement… paves the way for Byrnecut to bring the benefit of its experience to the development and operation of the Prieska project, which is intended as a global-best practice mechanised mining operation," Orion officials said.
Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart, Orion MD and CEO, added: "Byrnecut has an impressive reputation on the African continent both in terms of their operational proficiency and their approach to skills transfer and harmonious relations with local communities. Their involvement in developing Prieska will be invaluable."
The Prieska mine in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, once online, is expected to mine and process 2.4Mt/y of run-of-mine feed over 10 years, to sell approximately 21,000t of copper and 70,000t of zinc as differentiated concentrates each year.