Modern Mining February 2019


inc ident a l l y, wi l l be known a s ‘Mo t h e o ’ , Setswana for ‘Beginning’) comprises a conventional open-pit operation allied to a standard processing plant, with production from the Base Case esti- mated at an annual average of 23 kt of Cu and 690 koz of Ag over a mine life of 9,6 years. The PFS esti- mated the capex at US$155 million. In the Base Case the ore reserves would be mined from a single, four-stage open pit with a waste to ore ratio of 4,76 using conventional hydraulic

excavators and rear dump trucks. The process plant comprises a conventional SAG/ball mill and flotation circuit processing run-of-mine (ROM) ore to produce a copper concentrate and tailings. The process consists of crushing and grinding of the ore followed by sequential rougher and cleaner flotation. The PFS indicated a very robust project, with the Base Case delivering an NPV (8 %) of US$281 million pre-tax, using a long term US$3,00/lb price for Cu. The mine being studied in the current FS – which is being undertaken by SRK with Sedgman handling the plant and infrastructure portion – will not be substantially different to the Base Case mine in the PFS, with the excep- tion of the increase in plant capacity to 3 Mt/a. MOD, however, has reported that recently completed metallurgical and engineering test work programmes required for the design of the process plant have identified opportunities to reduce operating costs through lower power consumption and lower reagent requirements. Assuming it is given the go-ahead and enters production, T3 will not be able to claim the title of being the first open-pit mine in the Kalahari Copperbelt. This honour belongs to the now defunct Boseto mine, developed by Discovery Metals, which was opened in 2012 and closed down roughly three years later. Its assets have now been taken over by Khoemacau Copper Mining and are being incorporated into the Zone 5 project. While the failure of Boseto dented the image of the Kalahari Copperbelt in the eyes of some in the mining and investment community, Hanna is confident that T3 represents an entirely different proposition. “T3 is a near-surface

granting of a mining licence, MOD’s serious intent with regard to T3 is exemplified by the fact that it has now completed the first phase of an accommodation village in Ghanzi (80 km by road from T3), which will house workers dur- ing the construction phase as well as permanent employees once the mine becomes operational. Stage 1 of the village has accommodation for 40 people but MOD has submitted a proj- ect brief to the DEA to increase its size to 400 people. The accommodation has been built to standards common in the Australian min- ing industry, with all units being en suite and equipped with air conditioning. The proposed T3 mine

The proposed T3 process- ing plant, which will have a capacity of 3 Mt/a.

Core from the T3 project.

being examined in the FS will be a somewhat big- ger operation than the Base Case 2,5 Mt/a operation considered in the PFS, with MOD having announced in August last year that the FS would be based on an increase in the process plant throughput to 3 Mt/a, with allowance for staged future expansion. This decision followed a major increase in the T3 resource announced in July 2018, lifting it to 60 Mt at 0,98 % copper (Cu) and 13,9 g/t silver (Ag), containing 590 kt of Cu and 27 Moz of Ag at a 0,4 % cut- off grade. As detailed in the PFS, published in early 2018, t he T3 mi ne (wh i ch ,

24  MODERN MINING  February 2019

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