Nikanor upbeat about copper and cobalt mining ventures in DRC

Nikanor upbeat about copper and cobalt mining ventures in DRC

Nikanor plc which has copper and cobalt mining interest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is upbeat about its mining venture in the DRC saying its large scale project to rehabilitate the Kamoto-Virgule Oliveira (KOV) copper/cobalt mine is progressing well and according to other media reports full mining at KOV is expected to start in 2009. .

A statement released by the company on Thursday says the company has reopened satellite mines in Kananga and Tilwezembe with Kananga producing 65,000 tonnes of ore in November with 30,000 tonnes stockpiled while mining at Tilwezembe expected to commence this week.

The company statement says Nikanor has also restarted production at the refurbished Kolwezi Concentrator where 5,500 tonnes of concentrate was produced by end November.

”At Tilwezembe, blasting has begun and a contract for mining has been signed to start on December 15,” it says. ”Tilwezembe’s planned capacity is 2, 000 tones of ore per day.”

At the Kolwezi Concentrator, the company says recovery levels were as planned at some 75 percent for copper and 50 percent for cobalt, with the concentrate grade at an average of 18 percent contained copper and 5.5 percent contained cobalt.

The company says at its KOV open pit, initial de-watering has commenced following receipts of pumps and new motors. It says main KOB pit de-watering is well advanced, the drilling contract has been awarded and earth moving equipment is expected to arrive on site in January to erect settling dams.

On exploration, the company says three drill rigs are operating at Kananga and ”the drilling programme is ahead of schedule with some 2km of the 6km strike completed” whereas ”exploration at Tilwezembe is less advanced; one rig is on site and drilling commenced in November.” It says the drilling programmes are focused on increasing the indicated resource and developing the two mine plans. The exploration results, according to company will be announced in the second quarter of 2007.

Nikanor Executive Chairman Jonathan Leslie says he was pleased with the progress that his company was making in the DRC. He said in the statement the peaceful conclusion of the DRC elections, culminating in the inauguration of President Joseph Kabila, will provide additional stability to the region and a welcome boost to their project there.

”I am pleased with the pace of our progress,” he says. ”Since July we have reopened Kananga and Tilwezembe mines and restarted the Kolwezi Concetrator and will now be generating cash through the sale of concentrate. We are meeting key milestones in our project to rehabilitate the KOV open pit and build a major new copper and cobalt refinery,” he says.

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