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Kombat prepares for first concentrates sales

Trigon Metals Inc, has spent more than US$14 million (N$280 million) at its Kombat Mine in Namibia for upgrades to the mill and constructing a new tailings facility in preparation for open-pit ore production.

The Canadian exploration and development company says the mill at Kombat will produce its first concentrate in the coming week.

According to a company statement issued by chief executive officer Jed Richardson on Tuesday, the first copper concentrates sales from Kombat Mine are planned for the end of August.

“Mill start-up planned for this week will mark a key inflection point for the company as we start producing copper concentrate and look to make our first revenue next month (August 2023).

“Special thank you to the staff and officials who have made this possible and the shareholders and partners who have made production at Kombat a reality,” said Richardson, who added that significant work has been completed towards underground mining production planned to commence early next year.

Open-pit mining at Kombat started in May, and the company said the ramping up of earth moving has progressed according to schedule.

While the strip ratio is expected to average 6.5:1 waste to ore during ramp-up mining, the company has focused on reducing overburden and exposing ore in preparation for the mill start-up.

“In total, 500 000 tonnes of waste have been mined and 15 000 tonnes of ore have been placed on the run-of-mine pad, preparing to be fed into the mill,” the statement said, adding that earth moving is averaging 10 000 tonnes per day ahead of the required 8 000 tonnes needed to meet the mine plan.

Trigon said the mine and mill are now fully staffed with contract miner Tulela, Trigon geology staff managing grade control and Trigon metallurgical staff in the mill. A new secondary crushing unit was put in place last week offering higher efficiency, higher capacity and higher availability than the unit replaced.

The statement noted that underground mining is scheduled to start in April next year, ramping up through the quarter.

Plans are also underway for a start-up, which includes updating feasibility studies, preparing the underground, building an owner operated underground mining fleet and doubling the capacity of the plant.

Draining of underground water is the next major step, with pumps planned to be turned on in next month.

All pumps and pipes are at site and pre-installation preparations for pumps have commenced.

Trigon purchased the first pieces of underground equipment this month, a scaler and scoop tram to start on underground clean-up as ramps and stopes will start being accessible once pumps begin draining the water.

Plant expansion has yet to commence, but site visits from the manufacturer of the necessary equipment have taken place, final estimates have been received and equipment will be ordered to meet required timelines. – [email protected]