Perth, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 April 2008 – Australian-based Albidon Limited – an Africa-focused exploration and development company with the emphasis on nickel – has approved an upgrade of is Munali concentrator to increase production from the Zambian project by between 11 and 16% to between 10 000 and 10 500 tpa of nickel in concentrate.
A company announcement released here says the concentrator capacity will be upgraded from 900 000 to 1.2Mtpa. It adds that work on the expansion project will commence immediately, and that capital costs for this upgrade are estimated at US$2.5million (R20 million). The upgrade will be funded from cash reserves, and no new capital raising is required.
Albidon’s wholly-owned Munali nickel project is located approximately 60 km south of Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. Site works commenced in September 2006 and construction of the US$100 million (R800 million) project is now 95% complete with first concentrate production expected by the end of this month.
The project commenced production of first ore from development in January 2008, several months ahead of schedule. At the end of March there were some 25 000 tonnes of ore stockpiled on the run of mine (ROM) pad, in readiness for start-up of the crushing and milling circuit.
Because of the continued rapid development of the mine there are now eight ore drives being developed and delivering ore to the ROM pad.
The company announcement reveals that construction of the Munali project plant and associated infrastructure has also pressed forward ahead of the previously advised schedule. In the crushing circuit “hot commissioning” commenced over the past weekend. The milling, flotation, thickening and filtration circuits will be completed within a fortnight, at which time their hot commissioning will also commence, it adds.
As a result of the rapid construction advance, it is expected first concentrate will be produced before the end of April – some two months ahead of the original schedule.