Tag Archives: zinc

Aeris Resources looks to solve Stockman recovery challenges with Albion process

Aeris Resources has provided an update on the feasibility study underway on its 100% owned Stockman project in Victoria, Australia, guiding for a development path that includes ultrafine grinding and the Albion Process from Glencore Technology.

Andre Labuschagne, Aeris’ Executive Chairman, said: “We are very excited with the potential of the Stockman project. Since acquiring Stockman as part of the Round Oak acquisition in July 2022, our technical teams have materially advanced the project.”

With a recent update to the mineral resource estimate for the Currawong deposit, the company now intends to mine only Currawong for the first 12 years of operations, at a rate of up to 850,000 t/y of ore, he added.

“Mining Currawong simplifies the operation compared to the previous plan of mining Currawong and Wilga concurrently, whilst also reducing up-front capital,” he said.

The processing strategy will involve two stages: the mine site processing plant will have a simplified flowsheet producing a high-grade copper concentrate and a bulk concentrate containing copper, zinc, gold and silver. The copper concentrate will be transported to market while the bulk concentrate will be trucked to a regional offsite processing facility. The offsite processing facility will use ultrafine grinding and the Albion Process to produce separate copper, zinc and precious metals saleable products.

Labuschagne said: “The addition of the Albion Process has potential to provide a step change in metal recoveries and materially improve project economics. An initial desktop study has been completed with the technology vendor, utilising the recent feasibility study and metallurgical test work results. A number of potential locations for the off-site processing facility have already been identified.

“The Albion Process technology is in operation at multiple locations globally, processing copper, zinc and precious metals. This is well established, oxidative leaching technology proven to treat a wide range of concentrates with high metal recoveries.”

The Albion Process uses a combination of ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure to work. It also tolerates a more variable feed and lower grade than other processes, according to Glencore Technology, meaning it can make some projects feasible and profitable where alternative technologies could not. The sulphides in the feed are oxidised and valuable metals liberated, with the economic metals recovered by conventional downstream processing. Test work requires only small sample masses with no pilot plant, Glencore Technology says.

The process has produced high recoveries in refractory gold and in base metal concentrates at the six Albion Process plants in operation across the globe, according to the company.

Labuschagne says opportunities to further improve other aspects of the operations, its ESG footprint and project economics have also been identified, which are progressing.

He added: “The feasibility study will now focus on verification of the metallurgical, flowsheet and economic assumptions associated with incorporating the Albion Process into the project. We are targeting to finalise the feasibility study in the second (June) half of 2024.”

The Stockman project was acquired by Round Oak Minerals Pty Ltd (ROM) from Independence Group NL (IGO) in December 2017. Aeris subsequently acquired the ROM businesses, including the Stockman project, in July 2022.

In 2019, ROM completed a Selection Phase Study (SPS), consolidating and advancing earlier studies undertaken by previous owners of the project, IGO and Jabiru Metals Limited. The ROM SPS comprised the development of two underground mines (Wilga and Currawong), mining approximately 1 Mt/y, and an on-site flotation processing plant producing copper and zinc concentrates with precious metal by-products. Results from the SPS provided the basis for ROM to commence a Definition Phase Study.

South32 eyes teleremote loading, dry stacking, ore sorting for Hermosa

South32’s Hermosa project in Arizona, USA, continues to make progress, and recently provided updates on the latest developments in construction, efforts to support local workforce development and benchmarking community health metrics to support future sustainability and safety initiatives.

The feasibility study and an independent peer review for Hermosa’s Taylor deposit is on track for completion by the end of the month, with a final investment decision in the March 2024 quarter.

In May, the Hermosa team began initial excavation for the main exploration shaft and the ventilation shaft to provide underground access to the zinc resource.

Pre-sink activities for both shafts remain on track, with 50 ft (15 m) excavated for the main exploration shaft and 115 ft excavated for a ventilation shaft. This construction will allow the creation of infrastructure needed for safe passage of people and vehicles underground, while total depth of the shafts will be approximately 2,900 ft (884 m).

Taylor will use tele-remote semi-autonomous mucking for production stopes, including for development prior to production mining, South32 says. This will enable operation from the remote operating centre and would ‘engineer out’ vehicle and pedestrian interactions in the production mining area.

The project is also looking to make use of other advanced mining methods such as dry stack tailings, advanced process control, and the use of ore sensing and ore sorting, the company added.

Hermosa Vice President Project Delivery, Andy Thompson, said: “This advanced, underground mining method enables reduced surface impact and the amount of tailings resulting in a more sustainable mine.”

The South32 Hermosa Workforce Development Taskforce has been formed to identify the skills needed and local facilities available to help train, develop and expand the region’s workforce. The taskforce enables the Hermosa team to work with local education experts to develop a clear pathway for training local residents to fill skilled jobs at Hermosa, South32 says.

Skylie Estep, Human Resources Director North America, said “The first step in helping transform the local economy is partnering with community members whose expertise and understanding of our region’s educational needs can help create opportunities, so that the next generation can stay in Santa Cruz County.”

South32 says the Hermosa team has engaged Ramboll, a global consulting firm, to guide a baseline community health assessment and outreach to local public health institutions.

“Protecting the health of our workforce and the local community is our priority, and partnering with third-party public health organisations to regularly monitor and report findings ensures transparency and accountability on this critical metric,” the company said.

A baseline assessment will help Hermosa team to understand what levels of manganese and other minerals already exist in the community and environment, it said. By conducting this assessment before operations begin, the company says it can make sure health and safety controls are in place, better understand any changes over time, and ensure controls remain effective throughout the life of the project.

Caterpillar, Borusan make historic underground equipment delivery to Anglo Asian Mining in Azerbaijan

Anglo Asian Mining says the Caterpillar mining fleet for its new Gilar mine has now been delivered to the Gedabek mine site, marking the first time Caterpillar underground equipment will be deployed in Azerbaijan.

The equipment will be substantially vendor-financed, and this is the first time Caterpillar will provide this to a customer in Azerbaijan or the wider Caucasus region.

The underground mining fleet comprises three 15-t-payload R1700 underground loaders and two 980UMA wheel loaders with 5.6 cu.m buckets.

Borusan, the authorised regional dealer of Caterpillar equipment, will maintain a stock of spare parts and consumables within Azerbaijan and major parts will be held at Borusan regional centres in Türkiye and Kazakhstan, Anglo Asian says. This will enable efficient aftersales servicing of the machines over their lifetime, which was a major factor in the machine selection process.

The company says: “The underground mining fleet are ‘state-of-the-art’, next-generation machines constructed with safety at their core. They are more powerful and contain many new features compared to their predecessors. The operator environment has been improved and is more comfortable. Many new safety features have been added, including better access points, multiple fire suppression systems and improved visibility and lighting.”

The underground equipment will be used in the company’s new Gilar mine, which is currently under construction and development. On December 11, a maiden JORC (2012) mineral resource estimate was published for the Gilar deposit. This confirmed 6.1 Mt of mineralisation with an average copper grade of 0.88% and 1.30 g/t Au. The in-situ mineral resource is 54,000 t of copper, 255,000 oz of gold and 46,000 t of zinc, according to the company.

The Gilar mine is scheduled to begin production around the middle of 2024 and will be an important source of production, bridging the gap between declining grades at Gedabek’s existing mines and production starting from its much bigger Xarxar and Garadag contract areas.

The total cost of the equipment is $4.6 million. The $3.7 million balance due for the purchase of the equipment will be paid by the end of December 2023 from the group’s existing liquidity resources. It is anticipated that $3.7 million will be refinanced by a vendor financing loan from Caterpillar. Negotiations are continuing with Caterpillar Finance to finalise execution of the loan which is expected to close in the March quarter of 2024.

A ceremony was held on the afternoon of December 11, 2023, to mark the arrival of the equipment at Gedabek. This was attended by the group’s leadership team, Azeri and Turkish representatives from Caterpillar and Borusan, along with representatives from both the central and regional Governments of Azerbaijan. A demonstration was also given of operating one of the machines by remote control.

Metso to provide ‘grinding island’ for Almina copper, zinc concentrator in Portugal

Almina Minas do Alentejo S.A. is proceeding with the preparations to upgrade the copper and zinc concentrator at its Almina mine in Aljustrel, in the Iberian pyrite belt in Portugal, with the company having placed an order with Metso as the key equipment supplier for this project in the March quarter of 2023, the OEM says.

Metso has now completed the basic engineering of the grinding island. Delivery of the concentrator plant equipment will take place around the end of the June quarter in 2024, with the project expected to be commissioning by the end of the March quarter of 2025.

Saso Kitanoski, President for Metso’s Europe Market Area, said: “Collaboration between Almina Minas do Alentejo S.A and Metso is strong. We are excited to continue working with Almina on this project, for which they selected us to supply the grinding island, ultrafine grinding technology, as well as flotation, filtration and thickening equipment, as well as all slurry pumps. The deliveries will be fast as the plant will be built already within the next 24 months.”

According to Miguel Santos, Senior Sales Manager for Metso Minerals in Iberia & Italy, Almina chose to collaborate with Metso on the engineering for the grinding island as Metso was able to bring extensive expertise and confidence that the project will deliver robust performance, availability and sustainability results.

Santos said: “Almina trusts Metso as a partner for this project as we can provide them with a comprehensive package of solutions to help them achieve their targets. Several of the solutions to be delivered to Almina feature our Planet Positive technology.”

TOMRA Mining talks sulphide ore sorting in copper, zinc, lead space

When processing sulphide ores to extract copper, zinc or lead, the focus is on ensuring that the mill is always operating at full capacity. The challenge is to optimise the process by eliminating waste in the early stages and maintain a high recovery rate, TOMRA Mining says.

This means that less barren or low-content rock will be processed, consequently increasing the metal content in the input of the mill. The result: significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact per produced tonne of metal.

In the case of copper, the mineralogy and lithology of the ore will affect how effective sorting can be at removing waste. When sorting copper sulphides with a non-disseminated texture, the focus is on waste removal to maximise recovery. However, three quarters of global copper production come from porphyry deposits, where very small grains of the metal are disseminated, making detection particularly challenging. Zinc and lead sulphides present similar sorting challenges to non-disseminated copper, although the metal content in the mineral is typically higher, so the focus will be on waste removal while maintaining the recovery levels.

The technology to sort copper, zinc and lead sulphides effectively to optimise the process is available from TOMRA Mining, it says. Its X-ray Transmission (XRT) sensor-based sorting technology can effectively detect sulphides in mineralised run of mine materials as they carry elements with higher atomic densities than non-mineralised waste rocks. After crushing, the ore in a size range from +8 mm to 80 mm is fed into the sorters and the barren and low content rocks are eliminated, resulting in a higher head grade of the mill feed. In addition, the eliminated waste can be replaced in the mill with more upgraded sulphides, increasing the efficiency of the mineral process.

However, in order to maintain the capacity of the mill, it is necessary to increase the amount fed to the crusher. This will have an impact on the mine and extraction planning. Due to the lower processing costs of sensor-based sorting, it is also possible to bring this in the calculation of the resource evaluation and the final pit design, according to TOMRA Mining.

TOMRA’s XRT sorters scan the individual rocks fed into the machine on a conveyor belt with overhead X-ray sources. At the same time, detectors located inside the belt collect data from the ore. The position of sensors, close to the rocks, combined with the strong X-ray power sources result in extra high-resolution images. This enables TOMRA’s XRT sorters to effectively process even most of the challenging porphyry copper disseminated deposits. Waste rocks are ejected by high-precision, fast pneumatic module, which adds to the sorter’s efficiency.

In copper sulphides with disseminated texture, a TOMRA XRT sorter can achieve an upgrade ratio of copper content in the mill feed ranging from 20% to 100%, while separating 20%-45% of mass as the waste material. With porphyry copper, the cut-off grade is typically 0.5%, but in view of the surging demand, it is now often as low as 0.2-0.3%. With TOMRA’s XRT technology, it is possible to achieve high recovery rates even at the lower grade, as shown by the tests conducted on run-of-mine samples from at OZ Minerals’ Antas Norte mine, in Brazil, the company says. The sorter demonstrated its ability to achieve recovery rates of at least 90% or reduce the waste grade down to 0.3% copper.

Heitor Mesquita Carmelo, Plant Manager at OZ Minerals Brazil, explains: “A bulk test was conducted to evaluate TOMRA’s XRT technology, and subsequently, the company decided to test it continuously in a pilot installation at the Antas Norte site. The results were consistent in both tests, demonstrating that the technology is effective for industrial application. TOMRA’s technology holds significant potential for OZ Minerals Brazil’s strategic plan, with the possibility of making deposits with lower ore grades viable, reducing operational costs, enhancing transportation safety for pre-concentrated ore, as well as decreasing the CO2 emission resulting from this activity.”

Heitor Mesquita Carmelo, Plant Manager at OZ Minerals Brazil

In lead and zinc sulphides, tests conducted by TOMRA have shown that it is possible to achieve an upgrade ratio of two to three times lead or zinc in the output of the sorter. Here the mineralisation plays an important role and can dramatically affect the upgrade ratio, TOMRA Mining says.

TOMRA’s XRT sorter delivers multiple benefits for copper, zinc and lead mining operations, beginning with its uniquely high capacity, which can be as high as 150-200 t/h per sorting width meter – a differentiator of TOMRA’s which also meets the requirements for medium- and large-size operations, it says. The sorter’s operational efficiency can be further improved with TOMRA Insight, a cloud-based subscription service that turns the sorter into a connected device that generates process data. It enables mining operations to monitor and measure performance in real time and optimise the process as well as tracking faults to improve maintenance and keep the plant always operating at its best.

Another important benefit of the sorter is the capacity to lower operating costs through its efficiency and energy saving features such as its ejection module that uses compressed air to eject the particles – up to 80% less compared to other ejection systems – dramatically reducing energy consumption compared to conventional sorting machines.

Optimising the process also reduces its impact on the environment. In addition, TOMRA’s XRT technology is a dry process, so that the overall use of water and chemicals is also reduced.

Foran Mining drafts in G Mining Services for McIlvenna Bay project build

Foran Mining has selected G Mining Services (GMS) as its partner in the formation of the integrated project management team (IPMT) for construction of its 100%-owned McIlvenna Bay Complex in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Founded in 2006, GMS is a mining consultancy firm excelling in both underground and open-pit mining and processing projects, including operations in Canada. It has a range of services spanning greenfield projects to mine operation, with notable work carried out on Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador, Newmont Mining’s Merian Mine in Suriname, the Greenstone project in Ontario and the Tocantinzinho project in Brazil.

Foran says GMS has achieved a remarkable 100% success rate in delivering projects on or below budget.

Dan Myerson, Foran’s Executive Chairman & CEO, said: “G Mining Services is the ideal partner to deliver the McIlvenna Bay Complex into production and unlock this meaningful critical minerals district. GMS’ unique and innovative IPMT model enables a harmoniously aligned construction team seamlessly transitioning into an operating team, which is critical to success. Integrating GMS within our ranks provides the support and accountability needed in delivering safe, on-budget, and on-schedule mine construction. Their expertise, unwavering commitment to safety, and dedication to timely and fiscally prudent project delivery are expected to play an instrumental role into McIlvenna Bay’s development.”

Mathieu Gignac, President of G Mining, added: “We consider ourselves fortunate to partner on projects that align with our expertise and with people who align with our values. The opportunity to work with Foran, be an integral part of their team and contribute to the development of McIlvenna Bay brings us great excitement, particularly as McIlvenna Bay becomes Saskatchewan’s pioneering base and precious metals project. Our involvement not only emphasises our commitment to delivering excellence but also highlights our role in bolstering Canada’s critical minerals sector.”

In line with this transition, Gilbert Lamarche, previously Vice President, Technical Services, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. David Bernier, former COO, will continue to play a role within the company, leveraging his contributions in de-risking, building and growing the project and advancing key strategic initiatives, the company says. Sam Renelli has been promoted from Operational Readiness Manager to the position of Vice President, Technical Services.

The 2022 feasibility study on McIlvenna Bay outlined a 4,200 t/d operation over an 18.4-year mine life, able to produce an average annual production of 33,000 t of copper-equivalent output over the first 15 years of mine life. By individual metal, this equates to 17,600 t of copper, 28,900 t of zinc, 20,000 oz of gold and 486,000 oz of silver.

Orion Minerals to test out ITC120 continuous loader at Prieska copper zinc mine

Orion Minerals says it has awarded a six-month trial mining contract to P2 Mining, a subsidiary of South Africa-based mining contractor Newrak Mining Group, to undertake the early works trial underground mining program at the Prieska copper zinc mine (PCZM) in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

The trial mining will target the +105 Level Crown Pillar, using conventional and alternative underground mining methods, including the use of an ITC120 continuous loader and two 20-t bi-directional trucks in the underground development cycle.

The trial mining will comprise 120 m of footwall ramp development, before accessing the high-grade supergene ore of the +105 block with ore development along strike for 150 m on either side of the primary access as the primary in a cut-and fill mining cycle.

In addition, the Newrak contract also covers the opening of the 143 Level historical stope draw-points for selective loading and hauling to surface of broken ore remaining in the stopes, in order to perform bulk sampling and metallurgical trials on the material. If successful, this exercise will continue to build a stockpile on surface for future processing once the concentrator plant is commissioned.

Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, said: “This is a tremendously exciting period for Orion as we move to active trial mining at Prieska and start our transition from developer to operating mining company. We have spent the past two months completing essential preparations, such as installing underground refuge chambers, upgrading hoisting capacity of the emergency escapeway to surface and sourcing and installing key ventilation equipment.

“With these essential safety and environmental preparations now complete, we can finally mobilise the mining contractor to commence drilling, blasting and hauling ore to surface.

“The trial mining phase will also see Orion apply our core philosophy of bringing proven, innovative methods matched with appropriate skills and experience to our operations, while at the same time training and upskilling our host community members so that we can ultimately source our staff locally. We also aim to develop local enterprises to service Orion’s mines and the South African mining industry, encouraging our service providers and contractors to support these endeavours and contribute to the skills transfer and enterprise development.”

Orion will be testing an ITC120 continuous loader supported by two specifically paired bi-directional drive trucks at the PCZM operation. The ITC120 loader shows great promise in delivering improved cycle times and development rates compared with conventional mechanised rock loading and hauling methods, according to Orion. It is envisaged that these improvements can deliver significant a positive impact on both the +105 and the Prieska Deeps mining once dewatering has been completed.

The ITC120 continuous loader and the PAUS 20 t dump trucks are supplied via Hurst Mine Tec (HMTEC), the newly established local representative for Swiss group ITC. HMTEC is introducing the European tunnelling technology into South Africa for the first time and will support the imported equipment locally.

Orion said: “During development, the combination of the continuous loader with the two bi-directional drive dump trucks is expected to show significant improvements in safety, cycle time reduction and lowering development costs, with one machine doing all scaling, mucking and loading in a face. Direct conveyor loading into dump trucks driven into the face removes the need for shuttling LHDs and removes the requirement for loading and passing bays in the development tunnels. The bi-directional drive trucks also improve safety, removing the need for reversing long distances by LHDs. Importantly, the number of engines running is reduced, with a resulting decrease in exhaust gases and heat.”

The continuous loader and paired bi-directional trucks are anticipated to have particular application in the drift-and-fill stopes that will be prevalent in both the +105 mining block and in the shallow-dipping Prieska Deeps ore blocks, Orion added.

The anticipated improvements in development cycle time and associated cost reductions will be demonstrated during trial mining and carried forward to the revised bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the early mining start and planned future deeps mining at PCZM.

The 2020 updated BFS outlined an initial 12-year, 2.4 Mt/y operation targeting 22,000 t/y of copper and 70,000 t/y of zinc, with life of mine production slated at 226,000 t of copper and 680,000 t of zinc.

MMG-Roseberg-HxGN-OAS

MMG and Hexagon achieve ‘Australia first’ fatigue detection tech installation at Rosebery

MMG Rosebery says it has become the first mine in Australia to introduce fatigue detection technology in its underground operations, installing the HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System across the site in Tasmania.

The system, from Hexagon’s Mining division, has for the first time been installed in underground vehicles to detect fatigue and distraction in real time during 12-hour shifts, further strengthening the safety measures already in place to protect Rosebery’s 530 strong workforce.

Rosebery Mine General Manager, Steve Scott, said MMG continues to look at new and innovative ways to enhance safety across the mine site.

“Our number one value is we always think safety first, and nothing is more important than ensuring all our people go home safely at the end of each day,” he said.

“We recognise that with long shifts, fatigue can become a hazard and this technology enables us to continue to assess the fatigue risk of our underground truck operators in real time.”

The camera technology sits on the vehicle’s dashboard and will send alerts through audible sounds and seat vibration when it detects fatigue and distraction.

Rosebery Mine worked with Hexagon to install the technology in 11 underground trucks with 81 operators now registered to use the system.

Scott said the feedback from MMG’s people using the system has been overwhelmingly positive.

“They’ve seen real value in the technology because it not only helps them to recognise that they’re tired, but also manage their fatigue better after their shifts,” he said. “We have a culture at Rosebery where we encourage a positive and safe workplace, and this is just another initiative that helps us achieve that.”

The Rosebery Mine is one of Tasmania’s largest and oldest continuously operating, underground mines producing zinc, copper and lead concentrates, as well as gold doré.

Pictured is Chantelle Moretti, an Underground Truck Operator at Rosebery, holding the card to log onto the HxGN OAS.

Zest WEG to supply Ivanhoe Mines with range of electrical, energy solutions for Kipushi

As part of Ivanhoe Mines’ refurbishment of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zest WEG is to supply a range of electrical and energy solutions.

Ivanhoe Mines acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by the DRC’s state-owned mining company, Gécamines.

According to Luveshen Naidoo, Business Development External Sales Engineer for Mining and Industrial at Zest WEG, this includes a 14 MW power plant, motor control centres (MCCs), WEG medium voltage (MV) variable speed drives (VSDs) and a WEG 1,200 kW MV motor for the mine’s ball mill. The company is also the preferred supplier of low voltage (LV) motors, and will supply these to a range of mechanical OEMs servicing the mine. Delivery of the equipment is expected to begin in the September quarter of 2023.

“Our diesel powered plant, which will provide the mine with backup energy, has been designed to comprise 12 generator sets – each rated at 1,587 kVA and 400 V,” Naidoo says. “Assembled at Zest WEG’s specialised Cape Town facility, the plant includes MV switchgear, six 3150 kVA ONAN type 400V / 6.6 kV step-up transformers, a 40,000 litre fuel tank and an automated fuel system.”

He highlights that splitting the plant design into smaller generating units ensured engines and alternators were readily available, securing a quicker delivery time. The configuration of the plant in this way also gives the mine greater energy security in the case of maintenance or breakdown. The gensets can also be transported to site using conventional trucking, without the need for abnormal load vehicles.

The MCCs are being supplied for use in an established substation on the Kipushi zinc-copper mine, as well as for a containerised substation elsewhere on the site. To accommodate space constraints, the MCCs are designed for a back-to-back configuration with a compact bucket size, Naidoo explains.

“This ensures that the equipment will fit in the available space while still meeting the client’s specification and stringent IEC standards,” he says.

For the mine’s SAG mill, Zest WEG is providing the WEG W60 MV motor rated at 1,200kW – a unit for the demanding applications and aggressive environments found in the mining sector, Naidoo says. The reduced motor weight holds distinct benefits, he notes, including a compact base plate or plinth onto which it is mounted – and lower installation costs. The motor’s IP55 rating ensures the motor is well protected from dust or water ingress.

To meet the client’s needs for the MV VSD to drive the ball mill motor, WEG’s MVW3000 unit is being supplied – a compact design with an integral dry-type transformer. To facilitate the dissipation of heat, Zest WEG designed a ducting system for this 1,200 kW VSD which will reduce the need for cooling of the substation.

As the client’s preferred brand of LV motors, the WEG W22 motor is being made available to Kipushi’s mechanical supply OEMs. Among the key benefits of this WEG IE3 motor is its energy efficiency, Naidoo says. This preferred brand strategy makes it more cost effective for the mine to keep the necessary consignments of spares for maintenance and servicing.

In putting together its proposals for the client, Zest WEG worked closely with the engineering consultant METC Engineering in the detailed design stage.

First-line support for Zest WEG’s equipment will come from Panaco, the company’s Value Added Reseller in the DRC.

Appian Capital to take on Rosh Pinah zinc-lead mine in Namibia

Appian Capital Advisory LLP, the investment advisor to long-term value-focused private capital funds that invest in mining and mining-related companies, has acquired an 89.96% interest in the producing Rosh Pinah zinc mine, in the Kharas region in southern Namibia, from Trevali Mining Corporation.

Rosh Pinah is an operating underground zinc-lead mine with a 2,000 t/d milling operation, which has plans in place – via the Rosh Pinah 2.0 mine expansion project – to nearly double the mine’s annual ore throughput to 1.3 Mt and improve safety and environmental performance. The mine has been in continuous operation since 1969, producing zinc and lead sulphide concentrates, as well as smaller amounts of copper, silver and gold.

Appian says it will retain the existing site management team and workforce, who have substantive technical expertise and understanding of the asset.

Michael W Scherb, founder and CEO of Appian, said: “This acquisition marks a significant milestone for Appian as we continue to develop our world-class portfolio of highly attractive zinc assets, a critical metal that will help facilitate the upcoming energy transition. We look forward to welcoming the 450 employees at Rosh Pinah to Appian as we utilise our extensive operational and project development expertise to support the existing management team with delivering the Rosh Pinah 2.0 expansion project. We extend our gratitude to the Namibian government, our valued partners, and the local community for their trust and support.”

The Rosh Pinah 2.0 expansion project envisages the construction of new processing facilities, including the addition of a paste fill and water treatment plant, as well as a dedicated portal and decline to extended deposits. The project will increase mill throughput from 700,000 t/y to 1.3 Mt/y, increasing zinc equivalent production to 170 MIb/y (31,751 t/y), on average.

Trevali, the former 89.96% owner of Rosh Pinah, said previously that the expansion could also lead to the introduction of battery-electric vehicles at the mine.

Rosh Pinah is one of three recent investments by Appian in the zinc market, with the other two being Vedra Metals in Italy and Pine Point in Canada. It did not disclose the acquisition price for the stake in Rosh Pinah.