Alecto Minerals plc, the African-focused gold and copper exploration and development company, provides a positive operational update in relation to the Mowana copper project in Botswana.
- Capital Drilling Ltd has been awarded the contract for drill and blast and is currently mobilising its equipment to site. In the interim, using a local contractor, the first production blast is expected by the end of this month
- Giant Transport Holdings, the company’s mining contractor for the project for an initial period of six months, has commenced operations
- Appointment of Vincent (Paddy) Conran as General Manager for the Project – over 25 years’ experience in mining and mineral processing
- The conventional crushing and screening circuit has been successfully operating for two weeks, stockpiling crushed ore
- After initial commissioning of the process plant, test production has now commenced, producing saleable concentrate up to 28% copper, which will comprise part of the first tranche of product to be delivered to Fujax Minerals and Energy Ltd, under a five year copper offtake contract
- The company believes that early test production strengthens the value proposition of Mowana and, accordingly, the estimated timetable for re-admission has been pushed back, anticipated to complete by the end of May 2017, to ensure that the value of this production is accounted for and represented on re-admission
- Latest developments reflect the company’s commitment to establish Mowana as a significant and profitable copper mine.
Mark Jones, CEO of Alecto: “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.”