Discovery Metals Limited, the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed mining company said ramp up of copper-silver concentrate production at its Boseto Copper Project is underway and assured shareholders commissioning is well over target as it moves to set up a copper mining district near Maun.
Updating shareholders, the company noted that ore re-mining from the Zeta open pit was 150,000 tonnes in July, which comprised transitional and oxide ore only, with sulphide ore mining planned to start in mid-August.
The crushing and milling circuits achieved total throughputs in line with the commissioning plan while approximately 1,440 tonnes of copper-silver concentrate was produced in July at an average grade of 37 percent Cu and 630 g/t Ag.
Discovery Metals’ Managing Director, Brad Sampson, said the company aimed to achieve 50 percent of design capacity in our first full month of commissioning at Boseto and both the mine and process plant have performed at above this rate.
“Commissioning of the final excavator will increase ore delivery to the plant and allow a further improvement in the quantity of ore processed in August,” Sampson said.
“Along with recent strong exploration results and Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources delineation at the Project, Discovery Metals is establishing the foundations for long term copper production in the low sovereign risk jurisdiction of Botswana,” added.
According to Discovery, open pit mining production at the Zeta Deposit was 150,000 tonnes of ore in July. However, it noted that the quantum of ore mined was less than planned, with the third (and last) 350 tonne excavator still awaiting commissioning at month end (requires electrical repairs).
Discovery Metals said the operation of this excavator is ‘necessary to allow the design mining rate (delivering 250,000 tonnes of ore to the Boseto concentrator each month) and mining costs to be achieved’.
At month end, mining had reached the 940 level, which is approximately the top of the sulphide mineralisation zone and mining of this zone is projected to commence from mid-August.
“Waste removal is concentrating on lengthening the pit to the NE and SW and on the first cut back on the hanging wall side above the exposed sulphide zone,” the company revealed.
At the same time, crushing, milling at production of copper-silver concentrate commenced at Boseto in June 2012. July results and commissioning progress showed approximately 1,440 tonnes of copper-silver concentrate was produced in July at an average grade of 37 percent Cu and 630 g/t Ag.
Meanwhile, Discovery revealed that the eighth diesel generator is yet to be commissioned and is awaiting delivery of new parts.
“The other seven sets are delivering sufficient power to allow full concentrator operation.
Planned progress in August is to continue to increase the rate of processing towards the ultimate goal of 250,000 month, to commence processing of sulphide ore and to significantly increase the tonnage and grade of concentrate produced.”
The Boseto Project is designed to produce an average of approximately 36,000 tonnes copper and 1.1 million ounces silver per annum in concentrate from 3 million tonnes per year (3Mtpa) of ore feed.