In May 2018, Fusion Capital established Tara Resources AG to acquire the Brskovo mining project in Montenegro, which has the potential to be one of the largest and lowest cost open pit zinc mines in Europe, producing zinc, lead and copper concentrates.
The Project is located in the Mojkovac Municipality in northeastern Montenegro, approximately 100km northeast of the capital Podgorica. The project is well serviced by road, rail and power, close to international ports, and has access to a local population experienced with mining.
The Brksovo mine has a long history, with mining operations first recorded in the thirteenth century, with small-scale silver mining operations and a mint producing coins called the “Grossi de Brescova”. Mining exploration recommenced in 1950, with operations recommencing in 1976 and continuing through until 1991. In 2010, a new exploration and mining concession was obtained by an Australian mining company, and significant drilling conducted to grow the resource base.
Since acquiring the project in 2018, Tara Resources has completed additional drilling to confirm and grow the resource, metallurgical testwork and environmental studies. Tara Resources is currently advancing the Feasibility Study for the project, as well as all requisite local project permits and approvals.
Previous Portfolio Companies
In November 2015, Fusion Capital and Orion Mine Finance established Lynx Resources Ltd, to acquire the SASA zinc-lead mine in Macedonia. The SASA mine is one of the largest zinc, lead and silver mines in Europe, producing approximately 30,000 tonnes of lead, 22,000 tonnes of zinc and 400,000 ounces of silver in concentrates per annum, and is supported by competitive first quartile cash costs and a long resource life.
As the management team of Lynx Resources, Fusion Capital delivered a number of initiatives to enhance the value and corporate governance of the business, including:
- increased the life of mine through additional drilling, and converting the reserves and resources to international standards
- conducted a number of operational enhancement and debottlenecking initiatives
- refinanced the acquisition with a $75m project finance facility with international lenders Société Générale and Investec and a EUR5m revolving credit facility
- established the first precious metals stream in Macedonia, and supported its subsequent sale to Osisko
- converted all accounts to IFRS, including a three year historical period and prepared all necessary documents in line with UKLA regulations for a FTSE premium listing
- established a new safety strategy and procedures in line with international leading practices, which supported the site’s achievement of a new safety record (1 year LTI free in 2017)
- developed an Environmental and Social Action Plan in line with Equator Principles
- maintained strong relationships with local communities and government, supporting numerous social and charitable initiatives
On 22 September 2017, UK listed mining company Central Asia Metals plc announced that it had agreed to acquire Lynx Resources Limited from Fusion Capital and Orion for $402.5 million.