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Assore proceeding with 2.7B rand modernization at Gloria manganese JV

Assore Ltd. approved CapEx of 2.7 billion South African rand on a 100% basis to increase production at the Gloria manganese joint venture at Black Rock in Northern Cape, South Africa, the company said Sept. 6.

Assore owns 50% of Assmang, which directly controls the Gloria mine. African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. owns the other 50%.

Assore CEO Charles Walters said the money is expected to be spent in the next three or four years and is aimed at increasing manganese production closer to 1 million tonnes per year from the current 500,000 t/y and increasing overall production capacity to about 5 Mt/y, Mining Weekly reported.

The mine is expected to be shut for six months in fiscal 2019 to carry out the modernization, and sales will be met from inventory built up before the shutdown.

DRA Global secured an engineering, procurement and construction management contract to replace Gloria's underground rock handling infrastructure and surface plant, Mining Weekly wrote. The project is expected to be complete in late 2021.

Walters added that the company is assessing future growth options in Malaysia.

As of Sept. 7, US$1 was equivalent to 15.13 South African rand.