Namibia
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Omico develops modern copper mine at Omitiomire

Omico Mining Corp, which has its headquarters in Mauritius, is developing the Omitiomire Copper Project about 120km north-east of Windhoek in the semi-arid veld of central Namibia.

According to the Chamber of Mines of Namibia’s newsletter, Omitiomire is to become Namibia’s next modern copper mine after drilling has to date identified a resource of 95,8 million tonnes at 0,59% copper.

The chamber says the project is being operated by Omico Mining Corp’s Namibian subsidiary, Craton Mining and Exploration, and is undergoing a rigorous metallurgical test work programme.

“The test programme will confirm that the chloride leaching process, using salt and sulphuric acid, is a viable processing route at scale, and will work with the proposed solvent extraction and electro winning (SX-EW) method to extract and refine the copper to pure cathode,” the chamber says.

SX-EW currently accounts for 20% of worldwide copper production, and notably at some of the largest operations globally, the chamber adds.

A hydrometallurgical process is suited to the conditions of Namibia owing to its low water consumption, and without the associated environmental impact of conventional smelting and recovery, SX-EW operates at ambient temperatures without the requirement for major material inputs, which will reduce capital and operating costs.

According to the chamber, a bankable feasibility study for the project is well underway, with completion anticipated by the fourth quarter of 2023.

“The process flowsheet has been completed in addition to initial pit and dump designs,” the newsletter says.

Geotechnical drilling completed thus far indicates a longer life of mine, and excellent progress has been made in heap leach and acid supply trade-off studies.

A 54-hole reverse circulation infill drilling programme has also demonstrated significant intersections to inform the geological and wireframe modelling of the resource.

“Omico has delivered the preliminary mine plan and is facilitating ongoing optimisation of mine plan and ramp-up design,” the newsletter states.

“Through Craton, Omico is working closely with the community and local stakeholders to ensure all concerns are addressed in a transparent and positive fashion, while environmental baseline studies are ongoing.

“The environmental and social impact assessment methodology applied to the permitting process follows Namibian law, international and national best practice, and has been developed using international finance corporation standards and models,” the chamber says. – email: matthew@namibian.com.na