By Hilary Mare
ACCORDING to figures released by Dundee Precious Metals, the Tsumeb smelter achieved record smelting production with the quarterly concentrate production also recording high tonnage of 61 270 tonnes in December despite earlier smelter challenges.
In combination, these results demonstrate the potential for improved operational performance at the smelter as a result of ongoing optimisation.
The Tsumeb smelter also achieved its updated 2016 guidance issued on November 8 2016. The guidance was reduced due to the aggregate impact of ongoing converter optimisation post commissioning, converter refractory repairs, and the furnace shutdown in late July 2016 following a Namibia-wide power outage which led to an additional rebricking of the furnace.
“Our focus remains on optimising and stabilising smelter performance and successfully executing our growth plans,” said Rick Howes, company president and CEO.
On a consolidated basis, ore milled, metals production and complex concentrate smelted in 2016 were in line with the company’s guidance.
The company’s fourth quarter and full year 2016 operating and financial results and 2017 guidance are expected to be released after market close on Wednesday, February 15. The company will hold a call and webcast to discuss its fourth quarter and full year results the following day.
Following a nationwide power outage experience on July 22 last year which left Dundee Precious Metal Tsumeb reeling in severe losses with 2016 concentrate throughput expected to decrease by approximately 20 000 tonnes, the mining firm successfully recommenced operations at the Ausmelt furnace at its Tsumeb smelter in the third quarter.
The outage as reported by Confidente led to damage to the refractory lining of the Ausmelt furnace, the repair of which was expected to take three weeks. The reheating of the furnace commenced on August 9 with first concentrate treatment occurring on August 13 2016.
“We are pleased with the timely and efficient restart of the furnace,” said Howes at the time. “Our current focus is to stabilize the plant throughput and achieve maximum plant efficiency as we look forward to realising the benefits of our smelter optimization projects during the remainder of 2016.”
The company further stated that, the investigation of the incident identified a number of on-site opportunities that will mitigate risk associated with any potential future power interruptions.
“During the shutdown new generator controls were implemented, design improvements were made to the furnace roof, modifications were made to the cooling system to prevent water ingress into the furnace and site personnel received additional training to increase emergency preparedness,” added the firm.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015