Discovery Metals says its Boseto Copper Project located in the north-west part of Botswana is advancing well and remains on schedule for commissioning by the first quarter of 2012.
The company, which is quoted on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), revealed in its quarterly report covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2011 that construction of the mine and process plant is well advanced.
“At the end of March 2011, the construction timeline remains on schedule to allow commencement of commissioning of the process plant in H1/12,” it advised its shareholders.
DML said the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to construct the Boseto 3Mtpa processing plant and related works was awarded to Sedgman in September 2010.
Activities in Q4/10 were restricted to offsite engineering and procurement (long lead time items) and onsite preparation including the access road and Plant site clearing until the final key project approvals were obtained.
These were obtained in December 2010 with the grant of the Boseto Mining Licence and construction work commenced on site immediately thereafter.
It added that offsite engineering and procurement proceeded on schedule with no supply delays identified with the diesel power plant EPC contract was awarded and progress is on schedule.
The land allocation for the Toteng housing area by the Tawana Land Board progressed, and ordering of mine mobile equipment (including spare parts and tyres) progressed with delivery dates on schedule so mining operations can provide ore ahead of process plant requirements.
Onsite milestones include the access road (from the Old Ghanzi road to the Boseto Plant) and the road is in use, the construction camp was erected and occupied and the mine infrastructure area earthworks and basic pavement.
During the period under review, the process plant earthworks neared completion with first structural concrete for the plant foundations being laid on 7th April and with the communications tower (45m high) was erected and is being linked to the Botswana network.
DML added that the construction of the mine office and industrial buildings has commenced, and borehole drilling and pump testing to provide the project water supply is in progress.
In the same period, Discovery Metals Limited mandated leading banking houses to provide the debt finance that will be used towards the development of Boseto Copper Project in the north-west part of Botswana.
The Boseto debt syndicate mandate was awarded during the quarter with the syndicate comprising Standard Chartered Bank, Standard Bank, Credit Suisse and Caterpillar Finance as Joint Lead Arrangers.
Funding will be applied to the Boseto processing plant for US$105 million and the Boseto mine mobile fleet for US$75 million with Caterpillar being the largest supplier of the mining fleet for the Boseto operations.
In addition to project and equipment finance, the banking syndicate will provide a US$25 million overrun and working capital facility plus hedging lines for both copper and silver production.
Discovery Metals is an ASX/AIM/BSE listed copper exploration and development company focused on the emerging Kalahari Copperbelt in northwest Botswana.
The company has prospecting licences covering 9,656 km2 along the Kalahari Copperbelt.