Gaborone, Botswana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 March, 2008 – The Mowana copper project 120 km west of Francistown in northeastern Botswana – previously known as Dukwi – is on track for its production launch in Q2 of 2008, and is expected to ramp up from an initial 5 500 tpa to 29 000 tpa by 2012.
Quoting “The Reporter” here, allAfrica.com reports that construction of the Mowana mine is 90% complete, and first concentrate is expected early in the second quarter of 2008.
African Copper plc – the London-based international mineral and exploration company behind the project – revealed that the mining fleet, including large haul trucks and shovels, had been mobilised and was on site. Ore was being loaded onto the stockpile in anticipation of full production in the second quarter of 2008.
African Copper is investing about US$100-million (R750 million) to develop the new copper mine, which will initially entail an open pit mine and processing plant. In January, the company said the initial development of the mining operation would cost US$37-million (R280 million), while the cost of construction of the processing plant was US$62-million (R470 million).
An underground mine will be built once the on-surface reserves have been exploited.
The project’s measured and indicated resource has been estimated at 58-million tons at about 1 percent copper, which will be extracted at a life of mine of eight years for an open pit mine and 17 years for an underground operation.
The revised operation schedule shows that production at the mine is expected to be 11 percent higher in the first five years of mining. African Copper says the new schedule has the potential to generate higher production, lower costs and to defer additional capital requirements for two years.
The company is currently awaiting final assays from recent exploration, and will release the results as they become available, which is expected to be early in the second quarter of 2008.
“We anticipate being able to maintain production above 30 000 tonnes of copper per year beyond 2012 by integrating an underground mine into Mowana,” said African Copper CEO Joe Hamilton.
In January this year, African Copper finalised a five-year off-take agreement with MRI Trading AG of Zug, covering 100 percent of all copper products shipped from the Mowana Mine as from June this year.