As Mabwe Minerals progresses with the commercial production of barite at its Dodge Mine, located at the southern edge of the Shamva Greenstone Belt in Zimbabwe, one of the company's focus is capitalizing on the recent discovery of oil and gas off the coast of neighboring Mozambique, as well as supporting South Africa's multiple market applications for barite. Mabwe Minerals is ideally positioned to dominate the region, as no known commercial sources of barite currently exist in West Central and South Africa. Along with the established barite customer base of Steinbock Minerals, Mabwe Minerals' distributor and sales arm, the company is also well positioned to support barite demands in Europe and the Middle East.
Barite's primary application is in the oil and gas drilling sector, where American Petroleum Institute (NYSEMKT:API) grade barite is utilized as a weighting agent to offset formation pressures to prevent well collapse during the drilling process. Bright white-grade barite is used as the key ingredient in paint pigmentation to ensure color consistency from lot to lot. Because barite also possesses the unique ability to strongly absorb X-rays and gamma rays, it is additionally used in medical imaging applications for special X-ray tests on the intestines and colon. Barite is also mixed with cement to make special containers that are used to store radioactive materials and other heavy cement applications. Barite is additionally utilized in automotive applications for brake pads in cars and trucks, sound reduction in engine compartments, and coating automobile finishes for smoothness and corrosion resistance.
As Mabwe Minerals expands its operations during 2014 and into 2015, the company's midterm objective is to further enhance shareholder value by incorporating a milling facility that will provide vertical integrated-based products that command price premiums.
A natural resources and hard asset company, Mabwe Minerals is a majority-owned subsidiary of Raptor Resources Holdings. The company's initial focus is barite production. Dodge Mine hosts various deposits, including high-grade barite, limestone and talc. The property additionally contains widespread occurrences of volcanic massive sulfide deposits (VMS), and initial surface-level test samples have confirmed the presence of gold, copper, nickel, zinc, iron and lead. As the company is now moving into barite and limestone production, a core drilling program is being developed to further evaluate the commercial viability of additional metals and minerals that are unique to Dodge Mine.
For more information, visit mabweminerals.com
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