TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / November 7, 2022 / Tsodilo Resources Limited ("Tsodilo" or the "Company") (TSXV:TSD)(OTCQB:TSDRF)(FSE:TZO) wishes to provide a corporate update with respect to its exploration and evaluation projects in Botswana.
On or about June 30, 2021, the Company's wholly owned Botswana subsidiary, Gcwihaba Resources (Pty) Ltd. (Gcwihaba) submitted prospecting renewal license applications for its Xaudum Iron Formation project in northwest Botswana. Of the then current 7 licenses, two licenses were relinquished in their entirety and 5 were submitted for renewal. Collectively 50% of the combined license area in the 7 licenses was relinquished pursuant to Section(s) 17 and 19 of the Mines and Minerals Act.
Four of the five licenses that contain the vast bulk of the exploration target in the Xaudum Iron Formation project were renewed as submitted, effective January 1, 2022, while the fifth license, PL020/2018, continued in renewal.
Despite periodic inquiries as to the license renewal status, Tsodilo was first apprised of a possible reason for the continued delay on April 26, 2022, when the Minister of Minerals and Energy (MME) informed Gcwihaba that part of the area included in license PL020/2018 is in the buffer zone surrounding the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Property, and that any prospecting activities in that area would be subject to environmental assessment measures.
On April 27, 2022, Gcwihaba promptly responded by reminding the MME that
Gcwihaba also expressed complete agreement that prospecting, and mining activities were permitted in the buffer zone subject to various environmental standards and practices spelled out in Botswana law, and further affirmed its commitment to comply with all such requirements and to develop the Xaudum Iron Formation project in an environmentally friendly manner.
With apparent agreement as to the facts and applicable law, and with renewed and unequivocal assurance from Gcwihaba that it would be sensitive to environmental issues and would fully comply with all laws and regulations in this regard, it was expected that any concerns had been more than addressed and that the PL020/2018 license would now be renewed in short order.
However, in a letter received on June 15, 2022, despite its earlier clear statements to Tsodilo that exploration and mining could be conducted in the buffer zone, and a history of similar statements by the Botswana government in multiple earlier UNESCO filings, the Ministry advised that the PL020/2018 license would not be renewed if it included any areas located within the buffer zone.
In an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution, the Company filed a revised renewal application reducing the buffer zone area of the license block to only an area proximate to a paved airport landing strip, a hospital and a shopping center all established, extended or rebuilt after 2014 and all within the buffer zone. To date, the Company has received no response to the revised license application.
For more detailed information on all the above, and in the interest of transparency, the Company has established a landing page regularly updated to include all records related to this matter. Please see https://tsodiloresources.com/s/MME.asp.html.
While the bulk of the Company's Xaudum Iron Formation resource remains free of any dispute, the area within the buffer zone is of sufficient value that the Company believes further efforts are appropriate to protect shareholder interest, and further believes that the conduct of the Botswana government in connection with the license renewal process has left no recourse other than seeking resolution in the courts. Accordingly, litigation was initiated on October 31, 2022, see. https://tsodiloresources.com/s/BotswanaLitigation.asp.html.
James M. Bruchs, Chairman and CEO of Tsodilo, stated "there is nothing more important to a junior mining and exploration company or to a multi-national resource corporation than the security of the tenure of its licenses. Without the sanctity of one's license, the business rationale for investing in a country or a project is questionable. Botswana has always differentiated itself from other countries because of its adherence to the Rule of Law and professes that adherence to the rule of law remains a cornerstone to its development."
"We believe this case is unique as both the government and the Company agree that mining and exploration can exist in the buffer zone. The facts and the law are not in dispute, and yet the license has not been renewed. We look forward to a speedy resolution of the matter in order to continue our work of bringing one of the largest if not the largest resource project in the country to development, creating jobs, opportunities and income for the Batswana. Our project will be designed at inception to be part of the trend in producing high quality and high value premium direct reduced iron feed quality products, that can be used to manufacture green steel with reduced GHG emissions as well as potentially reducing costs and improving steel quality", he added.
"It is an exciting time to be developing projects in Botswana, as shown by the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank) recently announced plans for a $1.5 billion economic project package for Botswana to support key economic sectors such as mining, manufacturing, transport and agriculture. This would be the first major funding facility for Botswana by the Cairo-based multilateral lender, which last year was part of a group of banks that arranged a $220 million facility to fund the expansion of Lucara's Karowe mine", he concluded.
XAUDUM IRON FORMATION (XIF)
About the XIF Project
An informational presentation of the project outlining more information can be found on the Company's website at www.tsodiloresources.com/i/pdf/Tsodilo-Iron-Project-Overview_May-2021_Website.pdf.
More technical information can be found in a report prepared by SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. for Gcwihaba Resources (Pty) Ltd. titled "Mineral Resource Estimate for the Xaudum Iron Project (Block 1), Republic of Botswana" with an effective date of August 29, 2014 and filed on SEDAR under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com.
About Tsodilo Resources Limited
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond, metal deposits and industrial stone at its Bosoto (Pty) Limited ("Bosoto"), Gcwihaba Resources (Pty) Limited ("Gcwihaba") and Newdico (Pty) Ltd. ("Newdico) projects in Botswana. The Company has a 100% stake in Bosoto (Pty) Ltd. which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana and the PL216/2017 diamond prospection license also in the OKF. The Company has a 100% stake in its Gcwihaba project area consisting of five metal (base, precious, platinum group, and rare earth) prospecting licenses all located in the North-West district of Botswana. The Company has a 100% interest in its Newdico industrial stone project located in Botswana's Central District. Tsodilo manages the exploration of the Newdico, Gcwihaba, and Bosoto projects. Overall supervision of the Company's exploration program is the responsibility of McDonald Kahari (Pr. Sci. Nat.) a "qualified person" as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
|James M. Bruchs||Chairman and Chief Executive Officer||JBruchs@TsodiloResources.com|
|Head Office||Telephone +1 416 572 2033||Facsimile + 1 416 987 4369|
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements pertaining to the use of proceeds, the impact of strategic partnerships and statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals) are forward- looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward- looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Companyto differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, changes in equity markets, changes in general economic conditions, market volatility, political developments in Botswana and surrounding countries, changes to regulations affecting the Company's activities, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, exploration and development risks, the uncertainties involved in interpreting exploration results and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration business. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and, even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, uncertainties relating to availability and cost of funds, timing and content of work programs, results of exploration activities, interpretation of drilling results and other geological data, risks relating to variations in the diamond grade and kimberlite lithologies; variations in rates of recovery and breakage; estimates of grade and quality of diamonds, variations in diamond valuations and future diamond prices; the state of world diamond markets, reliability of mineral property titles, changes to regulations affecting the Company's activities, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required project approvals, operational and infrastructure risk and other risks involved in the diamond exploration and development business. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward- looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to their inherent uncertainty.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange ("TSXV") nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. This news release may contain assumptions, estimates, and other forward-looking statements regarding future events. Such forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are subject to factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control, which may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
SOURCE: Tsodilo Resources Limited