This milestone was achieved safely, within schedule and the overall Project remains within 3 percent of the original budget, according to the miner. The first shipment of concentrate is scheduled for July 2021.
Since underground development of Khoemacau’s Zone 5 Mine commenced in early 2020, more than 350,000 tonnes of high-grade sulphide ore has been stockpiled on surface, and is available to feed the facility. The ore is transported 35km from the mechanised Zone 5 underground mine to the processing facility via a sealed haul road. The Company expects to ramp up to full production through the balance of 2021.
The Project has the capacity to produce 155,000 to 165,000 tonnes of high-grade copper and silver concentrate a year, containing approximately 60,000 to 65,000 tonnes of payable copper and 1.8 to 2.0 million ounces of payable silver. The Company expects to achieve this production rate in 2022.
CEO Johan Ferreira commented: “We are delighted to have reached this important milestone safely, on schedule and substantially within budget, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Khoemacau team and our business partners. This is particularly remarkable against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 16 months.”
After being briefed on this major achievement, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Hon. Lefoko Moagi commented: “On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Botswana, we are very delighted that Khoemacau Copper Mining has achieved this major milestone and once again, it is a testimony to Botswana as a world class mining jurisdiction. We remain grateful that through foreign direct investment, Khoemacau will strengthen Botswana’s mining industry. The Khoemacau Starter Project coming on stream shall unlock the potential of the Kalahari Copper Belt and stimulate confidence in Botswana’s mining industry, for both greenfield and brownfield projects. We are grateful to Khoemacau and wish them great success, going forward.”
Ferreira paid tribute to all stakeholders who were key in making this a success, commenting: “We are grateful to our stakeholders including local communities, the various levels of Northwest district leadership, the National Government, in particular the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology, and Energy Security, and government departments such as the Departments of Mines, Environmental Affairs, Transport, Wildlife, Labour and Immigration, for their support, guidance and co-operation to bring this national asset to fruition. Importantly, none of this would have been achieved without the significant financial commitment and ongoing support of our shareholders and funding partners through the last eight years.”