Vast Resources begins commissioning Mantis underground drills at Baita Plai equipped with Doofor drifters

Vast Resources PLC, the AIM-listed producing mining company, has announced an update from its producing Baita Plai polymetallic (copper-gold-silver-zinc-lead-moly) mine in Romania. The first of two Mantis CMR4 production drilling rigs equipped with the latest Doofor rock drills has successfully completed functional drill testing underground.

The Mantis is made by South African company Fabchem, through its subsidiary, Conax Machine Solutions in Springs, Gauteng, which manufactures, refurbishes and repairs roof bolters and hydraulic rock drills, with its flagship manufactured products being the Mantis bolters and drills.

Drilling with a Doofor DF530S hydraulic drifter resulted in penetration rates of up to 1.05 m per minute which significantly outperforms the standard pneumatic rock drills which typically achieve penetration rates of up to 0.3 m per minute. The use of the Mantis drilling rig will result in drilling efficiency improvements of up to 3.5
times with a reduction of labour at the drilling face, thereby allowing additional faces to be worked.

Formal operator training is underway and the preparation of the area on 17 level for initial long hole stoping ahead of production in this area in June 2022. The second of the two Mantis rigs is expected imminently and will be put into service to develop infrastructure from below 18 level on the Antonio Skarn, to a planned 21 level elevation. With the two new Mantis drills and the transition to mechanised mining, together with the implementation of long hole stope mining, significantly increased production output is expected from the end of Q2 onwards.

Andrew Prelea, Chief Executive Officer of Vast Resources PLC, commented: “Our planned ramp up at Baita Plai is now on course. The implementation of long hole stope mining is expected to deliver a significant increase in production volumes, and together with our additional operational improvements, including the introduction of of molybdenum flotation circuit, Vast is in a strong position to lift production, output and revenues from the end of Q2 and into Q3. I look forward to sharing more operational developments in the coming weeks as the additional elements of our mechanisation and optimisation plan at Baita Plai are rolled out.”