Boosting South African mining

In only a short number of years this South African mining company has been making great progress in the sector with a diversified portfolio of noteworthy projects. BSC Resources, which was incepted in 2005 focuses on semi brownfields in South Africa, mainly targetting base metals.

The company is focused on the South African region and has strong BEE credentials (Black economic empowerment) as a black-owned company. “We didn’t want to just be passive shareholders in an existing major mining company. We wanted to be on the ground running [the projects],” Bongani Mtshishi, CEO of BSC Resources says.

BCS’s portfolio

Today BSC is working on a number of important mining projects that have proved them to be a major competitor in the marketplace. These include:

Burgersfort Ni-Cu-PGE Project:
The Burgerfsfort Ni-Cu-PGE Project is located in Mpumalanga region which is about 250 kilometres from Johannesburg.  “It is a joint venture with the Pangea Exploration Group. Together we will hopefully take it public,” Mtshishi says.

Pangea has over twenty years experience in the mining sector in Africa. This partnership between Pangea and BSC aims to further explore nickel in Burgersfort. Pangea is contributing initial funding of R7.5 million to have a 30 per cent shareholding in Burgersfort Nickel and has an option to later invest a further R5 million which would allow the company to gain 21 per cent more of shares for the project.

BSC has also entered into an agreement with Bright Resources to fund coal exploration. Bright has the option to earn 51 per cent shareholdings of the project by investing R7.5 million.

Insizwa:
Another venture BSC is working on is the Insizwa project located 100 kilometres from Durban between Kikstad and Mt. Ayliff. “The Insizwa project is a nickel, copper, cadmium project,” Mtshishi adds.

BSC has formed a partnership with Vale and will spend US$20 million on exploration for the project over a period of 66 months. It will have an option payment of US$1.65 million over five years, which will give it 70 per cent share in the project. To date, US$1.2 million has been funded for Insizwa.

Musina:
The Musina project is a major copper play for BSC.  The company has compiled historical data for the area of Musina, including borehole analytical data maps and reports, which estimate costs. The costs for validating the resource are approximately R9 million.

“In Musina we started looking at all the oxidized material. While we were doing our exploration activities, we then discovered there was quite a lot of sulphite,” says Mtshishi. “What we are doing now is trying to pull out our resources and start a mining project.”

The company is in discussions with potential investors to fund the exploration in Musina with hopes of concluding a deal by the end of 2010.

Location and funding

All of BSC’s current projects are in South Africa, but the company also has interests in other properties outside continent. “We had an interest in a coal property in Botswana. We have also looked in Namibia,” says Mtshishi.  “We are very close to the Namibian mining scene.”

Its projects have been based in South Africa primarily in order to have easy access to the project site. “We wanted certainty and areas we know about, so we can deliver to shareholders. It was easy for us to acquire areas that were very close to us as we are based in Johannesburg,” Mtshishi says.

“All our projects are a day’s drive. We wanted to work on things that we know we can be close to.”

All of BSC’s projects to date are funded except for Musina which is still in the planning stage. This is an enviable position which the company greatly appreciates, as Mtshishi says, “With the recession we are very fortunate to have projects that we can actively be working on.”

Safety and social responsibility

The company takes health and safety very seriously and further discussion highlights the steps taken to ensure a high level working environment in this regard. “We have a contingent series of regulations that we operate on here. All the staff have undergone training and we have a protective driving course and off road training course,” David Boee Technical Director of BSC says.

BSC understand the relevance of education and has donated time and money in educating South Africa’s youth. “We are focused on education in the Western Cape especially math and science fields, because we think those are lacking. Schools aren’t properly equipped and teachers don’t have the proper resources,” Mtshishi says.

“We provide them with these materials so they can be on target with the rest of the kids in the country.”

Future goals

BSC’s goals today include working on its current projects on a private basis and then taking them public respectively so that in the future they can have different companies which are all in different subsidiaries. “Our strategies are to solve these partnerships. We do the work that is needed to drive these things where they should be taken,” Mtshishi says.

“We really develop our projects to make them public to continue to expand throughout the African continent.”

BSC prides itself on being a committed and driven miner that works tirelessly to add value to its projects. With major projects such as Musina and Insizwa BSC’s future goals will be reached in no time. The hard work and determination of this promising company has catapulted them in a short number of years to be a great contender in the South African mining industry.