Force Commodities, which has already pre-sold to a major Swiss global trading house its entire high grade lead-silver entitlement from a mine yet to be built in Malawi, says it expects to finalise the key exploration, mining and beneficiation contracts for the mine by the end of this month.
MD, Jason Brewer, says the key project milestones would also coincide with a start to a new onsite drill program at the Company’s 51%-owned 1,400 km² Tshimpala base metals project in Malawi.
The company only commenced activities in-country in June but recent hand-held XRF assays of grab samples have returned exceptionally high grade silver of 2,411 g/t.
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The new drill program is scheduling a 150 Reverse Circulation hole campaign for a total of 2,500 metres.
This program aims to delineate an initial JORC resource for Tshimpala and builds on other bulk and sampling assays returning a minimum of 60% lead and 735 g/t silver with up to +80% lead grades in some chemical assays results.
“Encouragingly, Tshimpala will come to market at a time the base metals outlook is positive with increasing pricing in both the lead and silver markets,” says Brewer.
“We are currently finalising open-pit and mine development studies for Tshimpala with negotiations well advanced with short-listed contractors for both the mining and beneficiation contracts,” says Brewer.
As Manager and Operator for Tshimpala, Force is responsible for all funding to establish all mining operations and the marketing and sale of all lead and silver production from the mine.
“Locking these contracts down will be in addition to the recent award of the transport contract to Bollore for the export of lead and silver concentrate from the mine to the port of Beira in Mozambique and through to agreed major ports in Asia,” says Bower.
An environmental impact study is also being finalised in Malawi in conjunction with the ongoing consultation with key project stakeholders, including the local communities and district commission.
Force Commodities has already locked down a binding offtake agreement for its entitlement with the privately-held global commodity trading house, the Swiss-based Transmine Trading.
“Pricing under the Offtake Agreement is to be based on market standard terms and for material transported in sealed containers from the mine site to port,” says Brewer.
“The agreement provides for provisional payments to Force Commodities upon delivery of material at Beira against assays, and the balance upon delivery.”
Mining activities at Tshimpala are anticipated to be conventional shallow open pit operations with no drilling or blasting required. Detailed operating and capital costs are currently being finalised.
The company has also executed a recent agreement with Malawian-based engineering and construction company, Shire Civils, to acquire mobile crushing and screening plant and Equipment for the Project.
Commissioning and delivery of the mobile plant and equipment by Shire is scheduled to be completed at Tshimpala in the December 2019 quarter.