• After a company restructure Force Commodities has emerged as a copper player
  • ‘Force aims to be a multi-project mining company’
  • Scoping study planned for newly-acquired Oman copper project

Base metals explorer Force Commodities (ASX:4CE) soared on its reinstatement to the ASX yesterday, going up 33 per cent to 1.6c after its acquisition of a copper project in Oman.

The project was acquired from London Stock Exchange-listed Savannah Resources (AIM:SAV) for 50 million Force Commodities shares, $3.5m in cash, plus a 1 per cent fee on future smelted copper.

“Force aims to be a multi-project mining company. The Omani copper project is our flagship project, on which we will build an exceptional portfolio of projects,” chairman, Jess Oram said.

“This project is an exceptionally rich copper system possessing a dataset which suits the company goal of developing a mine and getting into production,” added Oram.

The company has several minerals projects, including Tshimpala for lead-silver in Malawi, and its Kitotolo and Kanuka lithium projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and three prospective gold and base metals projects in NSW, according to its 2019 annual report.

Copper prices have touched a year-to-date high on a stronger-than-expected recovery in China’s economy.

Scoping study is next step for Oman copper project

Force Commodities has acquired a Savannah Resources’ subsidiary that has a 51 per cent interest in an exploration tenement, Block 4, and a 65 per cent stake in a tenement with two mining lease applications, Block 5.

Also part of the deal is a 70 per cent stake in two exploration licence areas, Block 10, adjacent to Blocks 4 and 5.

The project’s area covers a total of 999sqkm in the copper-rich Ophiolite belt of the Sultanate of Oman, a Middle Eastern country host to clusters of high-grade copper deposits.

“Given the high-grade nature of the projects, exploitation of these resources in a timely manner will focus on possible toll treatment,” said chief executive, Simon Pooley.

“Accordingly, the next step is to complete a scoping study and then proceed to a feasibility study,” he said.

A JORC-based measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource of 820,000 tonnes at 3.4 per cent copper, including a high-grade zone of 500,000 tonnes at 4.5 per cent copper, exists for two deposits in Block 5.

“Over the past four weeks the in-country Oman exploration team have provided detailed updates on the progress of exploration within Block 4 and 5 as part of a handover process prior to settlement,” said Pooley.

Drilling intersections for the Block 5 tenement include 55.6m at 6.32 per cent copper from 63.2m.

Contained metal for the tenement is reported at 28,000 tonnes of copper, 5,900 ounces of gold and 220,000 ounces of silver.

Force Commodities copper project in Oman covers 999sqkm. Image: Savannah Resources
Force Commodities copper project in Oman covers 999sqkm. Image: Savannah Resources

Force Commodities emerges from voluntary suspension, restructure

Force Commodities went into voluntary suspension in January 2020, in order to restructure and refinance the business, and underwent a process of reinstatement to the ASX.

“Reinstatement is the result of considerable collaborative effort involving our dedicated team in Australia and support from our overseas associates,” Oram said.

Savannah Resources has decided to focus on its two minerals projects, one for lithium in Portugal and another for mineral sands in Mozambique, and to divest its Oman copper project.

“The divestment allows us to retain exposure to the upside of the projects through the shareholding in Force, together with a loan and royalty payable when the projects go into production,” chief executive, David Archer, said in a September statement.

ASX share price for Force Commodities (ASX:4CE)