Africa|Crushing|Design|Exploration|Industrial|Installation|Mineral Processing|Mining|Screening|Equipment|Operations
Africa|Crushing|Design|Exploration|Industrial|Installation|Mineral Processing|Mining|Screening|Equipment|Operations

Marula progressing activities at Kenyan mine

17th April 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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AQSE-listed Marula Mining is progressing mining and processing activities at the Larisoro manganese mine, located in Samburu County, in northern Kenya.

As announced last month, the company has entered into an agreement with Kenyan manganese mine operator Gems and Industrial Minerals (GIM) to secure a commercial interest in the mine.

Since then, Marula has started its planned $1.75-million exploration activities on site, as announced last month; progressed the formal documentation of a technical support agreement and a commercial agreement with GIM, which it expects to have signed by the end of the month; completed new process plant design work in South Africa and Kenya; and started refurbishment and upgrade works on the existing process plant to increase monthly production rates to up to an initial 5 000 t of saleable high-grade manganese ore.

The refurbishment and upgrade work to the existing processing equipment is being undertaken ahead of Marula’s planned investment of $1.5-million for new mining, crushing, screening and processing equipment that is anticipated to increase the monthly manganese ore production to up to 10 000 t over the next three to six months.

Marula informs that experienced Kenyan mining and crushing specialist consultants have been appointed to complete plant refurbishment, modifications and upgrade work at the mine.

Work is set to begin this week following the mobilisation of the consultants to site.

Refurbishment and upgrade work is to be completed over the next three weeks and technical support will be provided over the process plant re-commissioning in May and June.

The process plant refurbishment work, which includes many facets, is being completed to have the mine and processing plant operating at initial levels of up to 5 000 t a month of saleable product during the second quarter.

Design work, detailed costings and proposals have also now been received from a number of specialist mineral processing groups in South Africa and Kenya for the installation and commissioning of the new crushing and screening plant.

The new processing plant has been designed to achieve initial monthly production rates of up to 10 000 t of saleable product.

Installation of the new processing equipment remains on track to begin on schedule later in the second quarter, along with the arrival of new mining equipment.

High-grade manganese ores from the mine, already delivered to the lay-down yard in Nairobi, are currently undergoing final sorting and sampling ahead of planned sales in May. This material is both high-grade manganese oxide and manganese carbonate ores.

Initial sales of this material will be to one of the existing Asia-based customers of GIM and the mine as well as an initial trial shipment of 2 000 t to be delivered to one of the new proposed offtake parties as announced last month.

As Marula moves ahead with its expansion activities at the mine, a number of community-based initiatives will soon start following meetings with community leaders, the surrounding communities and key stakeholders last week on site, it points out.

These community initiatives are in addition to a commitment to work with the communities and to provide full-time and casual employment opportunities as part of the planned expansion and ongoing operations at the mine, the company adds.

“We are pleased with the progress that is being made at the Larisoro manganese mine and in particular the commencement of the refurbishment and upgrade works on the existing processing and mining equipment on site.

“This work, which is being completed by a specialist Kenyan mining and processing group, will assist us in achieving our initial production targets and improving the performance and reliability of the existing machinery and plant ahead of the arrival of new processing and mining equipment later this quarter,” CEO Jason Brewer says.

“I am very happy with the progress being made since we announced our proposed investment in the Larisoro manganese mine and we believe we are on track to have the mine operating at the initial planned levels of up to 5 000 t a month of saleable product in the second quarter, which we anticipate will rise to 10 000 t a month once new equipment has been acquired.

“With first manganese ore sales still on track for this quarter to existing customers of the mine and to a potential new offtake party, I look forward to updating shareholders with further updates on this and our other planned developments here,” he adds.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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