ASX-listed exploration and development company Nzuri Copper has appointed Australian engineering firm Lycopodium Minerals to undertake front-end engineering and design for the proposed Stage 1 dense media separation plant at the Kalongwe copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lycopodium has been closely involved with the Kalongwe project since early 2017 having completed the Stage 1 dense media separation (DMS) definitive feasibility study (DFS) in October 2017 and is currently undertaking the Stage 2 economic assessment for potential leaching/SX-EW (solvent extraction –electro-winning) processing at Kalongwe, which is well advanced and due for completion in April 2018.
“We pleased to be working once again with Lycopodium on this contract, particularly given their existing detailed knowledge of the project through the completion of the Stage 1 DFS and Stage 2 expansion scoping study. This gives them the ability to adopt a holistic view of the project and adopt a focused and efficient approach to its development that will incorporate the outcomes of the soon-to-be-completed Stage 2 expansion study, says Nzuri Copper CEO Mark Arnesen.
The front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract will encompass process engineering, procurement and commercial/legal services for the Kalongwe DMS plant, including:
- Crusher, DMS plant and conveyor design specifications, requests for quotes and tender evaluations;
- Complete camp design;
- Site-wide bulk site earthworks design and specifications; and
- Early works project management and controls.
Outcomes from the current Stage 2 SX-EW economic evaluation, due for completion in April, will also be incorporated into the FEED programme. This will ensure maximum flexibility in the company’s development approach, particularly taking into consideration recent near-mine exploration success and ongoing drilling programmes targeting new copper and cobalt discoveries in the Monwezi area.
Concurrently with the FEED work, Nzuri Copper is advancing finance solutions for the project construction and intends to appoint an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Kalongwe DMS plant following funding and board approval – allowing the project to move forward seamlessly from pre-development into construction.
“The award of the FEED contract for the Stage 1 DMS plant represented another important step forward for the Kalongwe project. The board’s decision to award the FEED contract reflects our confidence in the Kalongwe project and our desire to move the project forward as rapidly as possible to take advantage of current historically high cobalt and copper prices,” says Arnesen.
“The activities to be undertaken as part of the FEED contract over the next three months will further significantly de-risk the project and put us in a position to move seamlessly to appoint an EPC contractor by the middle of this year, he adds.