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The High Court of Botswana has ordered the Minister of Minerals and Energy to renew Gcwihaba Resources‘ one prospecting licence and to align the effective dates of contiguous licences with that of the renewed licence within 14 days.

Gcwihaba is a subsidiary of TSX-V-listed Tsodilo Resources and the prospecting licence forms part of its Xaudum Iron Formation (XIF) project.

Gcwihaba instituted legal proceedings after the Minister in April 2022 informed it that a part of the area included in the prospecting licence is in a buffer zone surrounding the Okavango Delta, and that any prospecting activities in that area would be subject to environmental assessment measures.

Despite filing a revised renewal application, reducing the buffer zone area of the propsecing licence block, Gcwihaba had received no response from the Minister, prompting it to take legal action.

“This is a very important decision for Botswana as it reinforces those values and systems that establish Botswana as one of the best democracies in the world. Its respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, separation of powers and regular, free, and fair elections are among the tenets of democracy which have earned Botswana this international acclaim.

“The High Court decision reaffirms the basic tenant that the rule of law does indeed prevail,” comments Tsodilo chairperson and CEO James M Bruchs.

Preliminary work on the XIF project has defined an inferred mineral resource estimate of 441-million tonnes, with an average grade of 29.4% iron, 41.0% silicon dioxide, 6.1% aluminium oxide and 0.3% phosphorous for the Block 1 magnetite XIF.