The miner says ramp up of mining and processing operations continues. “All Project construction activities on the Company’s Site have now been completed, construction and project teams demobilised and all major construction contracts finalised,” Khoemacau says in a release this week. The Project Capital cost has been finalised at US$412.4 million, which compares very favorably with the 2018 Project Budget of US$397.1 million, the copper miner reveals noting that there are several factors that contributed positively and negatively to this outcome including direct and indirect costs related to mitigation of extensive COVID-19 related complications and disruptions (not only due to lockdowns but also international travel restrictions and skills availability) and some scope changes.
The company says these negatives were offset by favorable foreign exchange movements and less underground development being completed in the construction period than was originally budgeted. Apart from Project delivery to plan, the Company says it has continued to prioritise safety performance through project development and into the transition to ongoing mining and processing operations. Measured from the commencement of construction at the start of January 2019 through the end of January 2022, the Company discloses that it has achieved a very pleasing safety performance, with a Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 0.39 per 200,000-man hours. “The Company and its contractors have been actively learning from all incidents, including all high potential incidents, to ensure all possible lessons are learned and repetitions avoided.”
Following production of first concentrate, the Company states that upgraded and expanded Boseto process plant has performed exceptionally well, already demonstrating throughput, metallurgical recoveries and concentrate qualities in accordance with design. Further, concentrate exports and the associated commercial and logistical operations have performed well since first shipments were made in July 2021. Infrastructure, tailings disposal and services on the Mine have also performed according the company’s expectations. “Road haulage of the ores mined at Zone 5 to the Boseto process plant has performed well from a reliability, productivity, and safety point of view. All processing and mining operations have been powered successfully by electricity sourced from the Botswana National Grid since February 2021,” Khoemacau says. “Water sourcing from the Company’s various bore fields has also met design expectation. The Company’s operating cost profiles continue to be within plan, noting however that operations are still in ramp up.”