Aim-listed AfriTin is continuing with the production ramp-up of its pilot mining and processing facility at its Uis mine, in Namibia, and produced 39 t of tin concentrate containing 27.5 t of tin metal in September.
For Stage 1 of Phase 1, the company is targeting the processing of 45 000 t a month of ore, for the production of 60 t of tin concentrate containing 36 t of tin metal.
The current production level represents about 75% of the Stage 1 target on the basis of tin contained in concentrate. Tin concentrate production for the year to date totals 189 t.
Upon achieving steady-state production of the Phase 1 pilot plant, AfriTin intends to enhance the profitability of the plant by increasing the production capacity of the Phase 1 processing plant beyond the current Stage 1, in three further stages.
AfriTin is progressing study work towards the Stage 2 expansion of the current processing facility, the company noted on October 26.
The production of a tantalum concentrate as a by-product was originally planned for the Stage 1 operation, but further metallurgical test work has been commissioned to increase the confidence level related to the optimum liberation of tantalum-bearing minerals and magnetic separation parameters.
Following encouraging results from the initial test phases, a final phase of definitive test work is currently under way, noted the company.
As previously announced, strict Covid-19 mitigation measures remain implemented across the company and all necessary steps have been taken to safeguard the workforce. AfriTin acclaimed that there were still no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the Uis mine.
"As we enter the final phase of our plant production ramp-up by the end of 2020, we are encouraged by the steady increase in plant performance at our flagship operation.
"Once we achieve the nameplate capacity planned for the year, it will provide us with a platform for expanding tin production towards Stage 2 and the exciting addition of a tantalum by-product. Coupled with an improving tin market, we are well-positioned to progress towards our long-term goal of a large-scale tin processing facility in Namibia,” commented CEO Anthony Viljoen.