The Ruashi II project involves the construction of an expanded concentrator, an acid leaching section, and a solvent extraction and electrowinning plant for the production of copper and cobalt metal on site.
Metorex CEO Charles Needham said at the presentation of the company’s results for the year ended June 30, 2008, that Ruashi produced 10 767 t of copper, a year-on-year increase of 69%.
“The Ruashi concentrator operated at design capacity, with recoveries improving significantly on those of the previous year. During the year, 6 8 00 t of concentrate, containing 835 t of copper and 55 t of cobalt, was transferred to the Ruashi phase II plant in order to charge the leach tanks for commissioning,” said Needham.
He added that while the commissioning of the Ruashi II plant had been delayed and project costs were higher than original estimates, the challenges and complexities of establishing a plant of this magnitude and technical advancement had been largely overcome.
The plant will be commissioned in modules, starting with the higher grade solvent extrac- tion plant, followed by the cobalt plant, the front-end crushing and finally the acid plant.