AfriTin Mining has decided to implement two additional components to the Phase 1 pilot plant at its Uis tin mine, in Namibia.
To increase plant throughput capacity and flexibility, a third dense medium separation section has been procured and a magnetic separation circuit will be installed in the plant.
This will allow the plant to produce tantalum concentrate alongside the primary tin concentrate.
The improvements are anticipated to result in first concentrate being produced in the second quarter of this year and are expected to increase the overall revenue-generation capability of the pilot plant.
“The additions announced today to the Phase 1 pilot plant will allow for the production of both tin and tantalum concentrates, as well as a larger throughput capacity at [the plant].
“These changes will not only improve revenue from Phase 1 but [will] also allow us to further de-risk the larger Phase 2 production, which is subject to a bankable feasibility study,” AfriTin CEO Anthony Viljoen commented in a release issued on Friday.
AfriTin further reported considerable progress in addressing the infrastructure requirements for the Phase 1 pilot plant and the first phase of production.
A geohydrological study, water drilling and test pumping programme have been completed.
The results of the programme have confirmed the viability of using groundwater sources to supply the pilot plant with the required process water.
Electrical power to the operation will be provided from the existing high-voltage supply line that currently terminates about 1 km from the plant processing site.
The company is now in the process of concluding a supply agreement with the relevant authorities that will allow the plant to be connected to the power grid.
Backup power, in the form of diesel generating sets, is also being installed at site.
Accordingly, the company confirmed that, as a consequence of the additional work, its target date for full-scale concentrate production is now the second quarter of this year.
Phase 1 exploration began at the start of November 2018 with the primary goal of validating the existing historic SRK resource over the V1 and V2 pegmatites.
To date, 18 of the required 26 drill holes have been completed with all finished holes being geotechnically and geologically logged directly onto a new cloud-based geodatabase system.
The core will be assayed and prepared for the declaration of an initial Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource on the project.