By Hilary Mare
THE on-going me tallurgical test work at Celsius Resources Limited’s Opuwo Cobalt Project has identified a number of opportunities that could significantly reduce operating and capital costs for the planned down-stream cobalt/ copper refinery, to be integrated into the overall development of the project.
Flotation test work conducted as part of the scoping study has achieved improvements in concentrate grade and metal recovery percentages, whilst successive iterations of the leaching test work have had the effect of significantly reducing the expected operating costs, owing to a higher concentrate feed into the process, and utilising a reduction in required leaching intensity.
Opportunities for further metallurgical process improvements have also been identified, which are expected to allow further beneficial iterations to capital and operating cost estimates.
Last week, the company announced that to fully evaluate these opportunities, some further metallurgical test work will be performed over the next eight weeks. “Upon completion of this additional metallurgical test work, the process mass balance model will be updated, which will form the basis of plant sizing and capital and operating cost estimates across both the concentrate and refinery processes for inclusion in the Scoping Study, which is now expected to be completed early in fourth quarter,” the company said in a statement.
Project Director, Pine van Wyk, commented: “Celsius is excited by the potential positive impact of significantly reduced operating costs that our metallurgical test work has identified, which may also have positive implications for capital costs. The process improvements that the Company is investigating will not only have a positive impact on costs but will also potentially reduce the cut-off mining grades and thereby allow an enhanced mine design. The Opuwo Cobalt Project is of such a size and global significance that it warrants sufficient study time to ensure an overall optimised project design is achieved.”
To date, significant progress has been made on modelling mine design options for the Opuwo Cobalt Project with a number of options being evaluated. Key input drivers will be refined as updated processing cost and geo-technical data become available over the next few weeks.
Based on the preliminary results of the mining studies, it is expected that the indicated portion of the mineral resource will be mined using a combination of open pit and underground methods (open stoping), and that the Inferred portion of the mineral resource will be mined using underground methods (open stoping) only.
Earlier this year, Confidente reported that Celsius Resources had completed a book build for the issue of approximately 48.6 million shares to raise US$9 million (about N$120.9 million) which it will use to advance its Opuwo Cobalt Project.
The placement was well supported by institutional and professional investors from North America, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia.
Commenting on the placement, Managing Director, Brendan Borg, highlighted that this capital raising would allow the company to be fully funded for the continued rapid evaluation of the Opuwo cobalt project beyond the pre-feasibility stage.
“With our recently announced maiden JORC compliant mineral resource confirming the project as having what we consider to be world significance in terms of size and strategic value, we look forward to continuing to progress the studies on the project as quickly as possible,” Borg said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015