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Australian miner seeks A$4.5 million to advance Zimbabwean petroleum gas project

By Oscar Nkala

Australian miner Interpose Holdings Limited says it will pay US$500,000 to acquire a controlling stake in the Cabora Bassa Basin gas-condensate project area in the Cabora Bassa Basin of northern Zimbabwe.

According to Scott Macmillian, the newly appointed business advisor for the Zimbabwe project, the company has acquired the Cabora Bassa Basin gas prospect area from Invictus Energy Resources.

The company has since announced plans to raise up to A$4.5 million within the next few months to fund the first phase of mine development in what may become the largest gas-condensate project in Africa.

The last major explorer to try to tap into the Cabora Bassa Basin gas project area was Mobil back in the 1990s. Its studies determined that the Cabora Bassa project had all the ingredients of a working petroleum system.

However, Mobil gave up and sold the prospect area to Invictus Energy Resources after further studies indicated a higher potential for natural gas than oil. Interpose Holdings Limited acquired the prospect area from Invictus in August 2017.

Macmillian said the timing of the licence acquisition and the winds of political change which followed three months later have provided a new impetus for developing the gas project.

“The timing of the award of the permit and change of political regime in Zimbabwe that occurred last year, has coincided with improving conditions in the oil and gas industry, exploration is now firmly back on the agenda as companies look for new growth opportunities.

“This data has never been seen in the public domain and Invictus had secured the most prospective area in the basin ahead of any competition. We have a low-cost, high-impact work program to progress the prospect to farm-out or drill ready,” Macmillian said.

The work programme also consists of re-processing the legacy data acquired by Mobil using significantly improved seismic processing techniques when compared to 25 years ago, when the data was acquired by Mobil.

Macmillian said the data, set to be gathered through evolved exploration concepts for rift valley basin settings, will help Interpose obtain a “much clearer picture” of the Mzarabani and greater Cabora Bassa Basin prospect areas.

If successful, the scoping study will be followed by an environmental impact assessment study and a third-party independent resource-certification process in preparation for the first phase of exploration.

Development costs are estimated at A$1.1 million for the first year and A$900,000 for the second year. A further A$2.2 million will be earmarked for working capital purposes.

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