Modern Mining September 2016


Metallon lifts gold production in second quarter

Metallon Corporation, the gold mining, development and exploration company with producing assets in Zimbabwe and exploration assets in Tanzania and the DRC, has announced its production results for Q2 2016 and an update on corporate activities. Group gold production for Q2 2016 from its four producing mines in Zimbabwe was 22 565 oz, 9 % higher than the previous quarter (Q1 2016: 20 673 oz). Production for the year to date is 43 238 oz. The increase in gold production in Q2 2016 was mostly due to an outstanding perfor- mance at Metallon’s How mine, located 30 km south-east of Bulawayo. Power interruptions continued to affect

capacity, Metallon says it expects these costs to reduce further. Reporting on its expansion projects, Metallon says How mine has commenced the deepening of the 16N7 Shaft in order to increase ore supply. The shaft deepen- ing from 28L to 34L is to access ore below 28 Level which will increase future pro- duction. Commissioning of the deepened shaft is expected in 2018. The new Tailing Storage Facilities (TSF) at Shamva mine will be commissioned in Q4 2016. Plans are scheduled to refurbish the processing plant at Shamva to 70 000 tonnes per month capacity, which would increase production in 2017. Construction of the new processing plant and TSF at Mazowe, located 50 km north of Harare, is currently well advanced. The new plant will increase capacity at the mine to 70 000 tonnes per month. Redwing mine continues to increase production following the resumption of operations in November 2015. Production is expected to increase to 22 000 tonnes per month by Q4 2016. Plans are also underway to increase production to 50 000 tonnes per month in 2017. Ken Mekani, Chief Executive Officer, Metallon Corporation, commented: “Metallon delivered a positive performance in Q2 2016. Production increased almost 10 % and AISC reduced by 16 % quarter on quarter, with the operations at How mine especially achieving strong results. The new processing plant at Mazowe is 80 % con- structed with all key equipment on site and we have confirmation from our contractors that the plant will be commissioned in Q4 2016. The appointment of contract miners at Shamva mine and ramp up at Redwing mine will also provide increased produc- tion in the second half of the year. We look forward to the continued expansion across the Group and reaffirm our production tar- get of 120 000 ounces in 2016. “Metallon is currently investing signifi- cantly in Zimbabwe with the deepening of the shaft at How mine, the refurbish- ment of the processing plant at Shamva mine, the expansion at Redwing mine and a targeted exploration programme across the Group. This large capital expenditure programme over the next few years will considerably increase our production and generate future revenue.” 

operations in Q2 2016. Metallon lost 112 hours of production during the quarter which equates to approximately 1 700 oz (Q1 2016: 4 275 oz). Metallon says it is working on possible solutions for supple- menting grid power supply. The Q2 2016 Group C1 costs were US$764/oz and all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) US$971/oz. This is an improvement of 14 % and 16 % compared to Q1 2016 (Q1 2016: C1 cost US$884 and an AISC of US$1 156). This improvement was the result of increased production and cost savings from overtime control and cen- tral procurement. As production and cost efficiencies improve throughout the year with new equipment and increased

The newMazowe processing plant as it was in early August this year (photo: Metallon).

Study confirms scope for cobalt production at Kipoi Australia’s Tiger Resources has announced that a study by an independent engi- neering company, Mintrex Pty Ltd, to investigate the viability of Tiger producing cobalt at its Kipoi project in Katanga in the DRC has returned a positive result.

cathode metal). These processing path- ways could be developed progressively or in stages. Mintrex recommends the development of a cobalt hydroxide circuit producing a cobalt hydroxide intermedi- ate product as a first step, and estimates a capital cost of US$22 million (+/- 40 %) for a 1 000 t/a circuit. Tiger will now scope a metallurgical test work programme to confirm commercial process flow sheets and firm up the capital cost and estimate likely operating costs. This test work is expected to be completed by December 2016. Tiger produced 26 151 tonnes of copper cathode at Kipoi in 2016, and is undertak- ing debottlenecking works at the plant to increase nameplate production capac- ity to 32 500 tonnes per year. These works are scheduled to be completed during the December 2016 quarter. 

The current Kipoi mineral resource contains cobalt but there is no process- ing pathway for this material. Mintrex has concluded that based on an expected nameplate copper cathode production level of 32 500 tonnes, measured cobalt in the raffinate pond and a copper to cobalt ratio derived from the Kipoi mineral resource, there is sufficient cobalt potential within the current Kipoi copper leach circuit to justify further studies. The Mintrex study has identified two potential cobalt process routes for Kipoi: cobalt intermediate recovery (cobalt hydroxide); and cobalt refining (cobalt

4  MODERN MINING  September 2016

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