London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 May 2008 – African Copper plc – an international exploration and development company incorporated in England and Wales, and tri-listed on the AIM, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Botswana Stock Exchange – is expected to produce first copper concentrate before the end of the month at its Mowana copper mine in Botswana.
A company news release issued here confirmed that he first quarter of 2008 had concentrated on completion of the construction programme, with cold commissioning starting in April. Cold commissioning is on-going with a number of portions already complete.
“Hot commissioning of the crusher and mill facility is scheduled over the next week, with first concentrate production expected shortly thereafter,” the release added. “The company expects to ramp production upwards during June and July 2008, and expects to declare commercial production in the third quarter of the year.”
Concentrate produced during commissioning is to be stockpiled, with the first concentrate shipment due in July 2008. Completion of construction activities on site is expected at the same time, with a hand-over from EPCM teams to operational teams.
African Copper went on to say that excellent progress had been made in the preparation of the open-pit for commercial mining activity. As of 12 May 2008, the stockpiles at Mowana consisted of 350 000 tonnes of material at 1% copper, including 132 000 tonnes grading 1.5% copper on the high grade stockpile.
At the Mowana mine property, total open pit proven and probable reserves have been estimated at 14.8 million tonnes grading 1.11% copper.
The start of actual production in the current quarter will mark the transition of African Copper from a junior exploration company to a copper producer. The Company also has a 100% interest in the Matsitama exploration concession, which has ten high-priority, drill-ready and 35 lower priority targets.