Alecto Minerals has issued a positive operational update on the Mowana copper project in Botswana.
The company said Capital Drilling Limited had been awarded the contract for drill and blast and was currently mobilising its equipment to site but in the interim, using a local contractor, the first production blast was expected by the end of this month.
It also said that Giant Transport Holdings Limited, the company’s mining contractor for the project for an initial period of six months, had commenced operations.
And it said the conventional crushing and screening circuit had been successfully operating for two weeks, stockpiling crushed ore.
After initial commissioning of the process plant, test production had now commenced, producing saleable concentrate up to 28% copper.
This would comprise part of the first tranche of product to be delivered to Fujax Minerals and Energy Limited, under a five year copper offtake contract.
Chief executive Mark Jones said: “We are moving at speed towards delivering continuous production and first sales at Mowana meaning that the atmosphere on site is buoyant, particularly given that the first blast is anticipated in just a matter of days.
“It is significant that we have been able to sign up a company of Capital Drilling’s profile to provide future Drill and Blast services, and with Giant already on site, our stockpile is increasing.
“Most importantly, we have switched the plant back on as part of a test phase and this has been a great success, producing saleable copper concentrate.
“We are also delighted to welcome Paddy Conran to the team as General Manager.
“Paddy’s vast experience running mines in southern Africa, and particularly his in-depth knowledge of the treatment processes that are applicable to the Mowana project, further strengthens our confidence that we will achieve our near term goals.
“Of course, there are still some hurdles to overcome before we can announce that we are in full scale production, but our Project is being de-risked on a continuous basis, and we enjoy fantastic relationships with excellent operational partners, which have the expertise to help us deal with any challenges.
“These positive developments mean that our timeline for publishing our re-admission document will be pushed back, although we believe this puts the Company in a stronger position.
I look forward to providing further updates and photographs regarding the first blast and additional operational achievements on site, during what is a very exciting time for Alecto.”
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