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ASX-listed Jupiter Mines has received the all clear to restart mining operations at its Tshipi Borwa manganese mine in South Africa’s Kalahari manganese field.

This follows the issuing of a Section 54 Notice by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), citing breaches relating mainly to recent pit wall failure and to drilling and blasting patterns which caused mining operations to be temporarily suspended.

Following a meeting between Jupiter Mines and the DMR on Monday 27 August, the Section 45 notice was lifted and operations were able to return to normal.

The DMR were satisfied with the remedial measures put in place by the Tshipi management team, while the management team said it will consider further improvements to its processes and operations as suggested by the DMR.

Operational update at Tshipi Borwa

The Tshipi Borwa manganese mine is currently comfortably ahead of its business plan for the financial year to July – having shipped 1.6 Mt against a target of 1.3 Mt. Sales for August 2018 stand at 316 000 t.

Tshipi remains on track to deliver the tonnes to meet its marketing commitments of 324 000 t for September.

Cash generation by Tshipi has remained strong during the current financial year, with the manganese ore price currently around US$5.80/dmtu (37% FOB Port Elizabeth). Cash in the bank at Tshipi as at the end of July 2018 stands at approximately R2.7 billion (pre-tax, royalties, capital expenditure and other commitments), comfortably securing the R1.5 billion Tshipi dividend payment which the Tshipi board expects to consider and declare over the next few weeks, with the Jupiter board considering the payment of its share to Jupiter shareholders soon thereafter.

Co-operation agreement signed

Separately, Jupiter Mines has also announced that Tshipi and Mamatwan have signed the co-operation agreement to advance the mining of the barrier pillar between the two mines. The barrier pillar mining will release sterilised ore that has a much lower strip ratio than the life of mine plan.