London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 September 2008 – The London-based international mineral and exploration company African Copper plc says first concentrate shipments from its Mowana open pit copper mine in Botswana will begin before the end of this month.
Making this announcement here, the company confirmed that commissioning of the mill was in its final stage, following the successful resolution of some issues with its bearings and lubrication system during the commissioning process. Concentrate is currently being stockpiled for commencement of first shipment during September.
“High grade ore is now being put through the mill and the engineering, procurement, construction and management contractor is currently undertaking the completion guarantees before handing over to African Copper later this month,” the update revealed. “The period from the start of construction to final commissioning has been less than 24 months.”
Mining operations, which commenced in January 2008, continue to perform well with over 850 000 tonnes of ore stockpiled, including 300 000 tonnes at 1.74% copper as at 8 September 2008. This represents approximately 9 months of production, based on the mill capacity of 1 million tpa.
The update added that mining operations had now exposed ore along a 1.5 km strike within the pit and had shown an increased presence of high-grade mineralisation at shallow depths. As a result, the mixed ore grades encountered were higher than originally predicted, and the current operational strategy allowed the segregation of stockpile ore into a high grade direct mill feed stockpile and a dense medium separation ("DMS") plant feed stockpile.
The impact of a higher amount of mixed ore at better grades has led the company to consider bringing forward the introduction of a DMS plant from 2010 to the third quarter 2009, the update stated.