In the latter part of March 2017, Alecto Minerals, the African focused gold and copper exploration and development company, announced positive operational developments for the Botswanan-based Mowana Copper Project.
"We are moving at speed towards delivering continuous production and first sales at Mowana, meaning that the atmosphere on site is buoyant, particularly given that the first blast is anticipated in just a matter of days," said Alecto CEO Mark Jones on 22 March 2017.
Capital Drilling Limited has been awarded the drill and blast contract and while the company mobilises its equipment to site, a local contractor is being used for the first production blast, expected to take place at the end of March 2017. Additionally, Alecto’s mining contractor for the first six months of this project, Giant Transport Holdings Limited, has commenced operations, while the conventional crushing and screening circuit has been operational since mid-March and is currently stockpiling crushed ore.
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Test production underway
Subsequent to initial commissioning of the process plant, test production has commenced, currently producing saleable concentrate up to 28% copper. This comprises part of the first tranche of product that will be delivered to Fujmax Minerals and Energy Limited under a five-year copper offtake contract.
At the time of this announcement, the company stated that it believes that early test production strengthens the value proposition of Mowana. “Accordingly, the estimated timetable for re-admission has been pushed back, and is anticipated to be complete by the end of May 2017. This will ensure that the value of this production is accounted for.”
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General manager strengthens confidence
Another development within the mine is the appointment of Vincent (Paddy) Conran, who has more than 25 years of experience in mining and mineral processing, as General Manager of the project. “Paddy’s vast experience in running mines in southern Africa, and particularly his in-depth knowledge of the treatment processes applicable to the Mowana project, further strengthen our confidence that we will achieve our short-term goals,” Jones elaborated. He added that all the above-mentioned developments reflect Alecto’s commitment to establish Mowana as a significant and profitable copper mine.
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“There are some hurdles to overcome before we can announce that we are in full scale production,” Jones concluded, “but our project is being de-risked on a continuous basis and we enjoy fantastic relationships with excellent operational partners, who have the expertise to help us deal with any challenges.”
Mining projects in the Botswana that are listed on Mining IQ’s database currently profiles 85 projects. Minerals mined in these projects include 14 coal, 8 copper, 26 diamond, 2 gold, 12 industrial, 1 iron ore, 5 nickel, 2 PGM, 14 uranium and 1 zinc.
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