Shares in freshly-rebranded Kazera Global (LSE:KZG) recovered some recent losses today after the firm revealed progress at its majority-owned Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine. Kazera said Aftan, the owner of the mine, has delivered its fifth shipment of tantalum to a leading consumer of the metal-based in North America. The most recent shipment of tantalum – a tough metal used to make parts for chemical plants, airplanes, and missiles – reached purity grades of over 40pc.
Kazera, which owns a 75pc stake in Aftan, said the latter organisation is also in continuing discussions with a second potential customer and has already passed processing and product audits. Aftan has also begun the application process, through a third party environmental engineering firm, for the certification of the installation of a larger tailings dam. This forms part of wider efforts to ramp up tantalum production at the mine in a bid to satisfy any potential future customer base. Aftan expects to be able to supply multiple customers.
Following the news, Kazera’s shares were up 14.9pc, or 0.4p, to 2.9p, as at the time of writing. This marks a change of pace for the company, which has suffered disappointing share price performance since rebranding from Kennedy Ventures and adopting a new investment policy at its AGM in March.
The rebrand immediately followed a tough period for Kazera. Its shares were suspended from trading in December after it failed to meet the final deadline for publishing its audited accounts for the previous business year. The suspension was lifted in February and, bar a brief rise immediately after trading resumed, Kazera has drifted lower ever since.
Despite a lack of demand from the retail market, Kazera appears at least to have some institutional backing. Last week, British Virgin Islands-based mining investor Tracata increased its stake in the firm to 6.4pc from 5pc.
Larry Johnson, chief executive of Kazera, was optimistic about today’s news, saying: ‘Significant progress continues at the Mine, with the application for a larger tailings dam, bidding for the installation of a system to pull water from the Orange River Water Project underway and our fifth shipment of industry leading high purity tantalum being sent to the Customer. I am delighted that our second potential customer has confirmed that the mine has passed their audit and encouraged that, in a recent meeting they noted that they were impressed by our management systems, grades and ability to work to stringent quality requirements in short order.
‘At the mine, we continue to focus on increasing efficiencies and recent upgrades have materially improved the plant, mine and working conditions for our employees. The purchase of a new TLB, with multifunctional capabilities, will continue with the reduction in variable costs and improve overall efficiencies. The board and I continue to look forward to the future of the company with optimism and look forward to updating shareholders on further progress.’
At 2.9p a share and a market cap of £6.4m, it could be worth having a punt on Kazera while the retail market’s apparent lack of interest in the business continues.