ASX-listed Tiger Resources reports it has achieved production of 23 119 tonnes of copper cathode at its Kipoi copper project in the DRC during 2016, within the revised 2016 guidance range of 23 000 to 23 600 tonnes.
The Kipoi copper project in Katanga (photo: Tiger Resources).
Reinforcement of the Intermediate Leach Solution (ILS) pond has been completed, allowing production to be resumed at nameplate operating levels. As previously reported, the company plans to construct a new ILS pond after the end of the wet season.
The debottlenecking capital works programme to expand the Kipoi plant’s nameplate production capacity to 32 500 t/a has also now been completed.
The coffer dam, a smaller dam contained within the larger dam which comprises the new Tailings Storage Facility (TSF-3), has been commissioned. This provides sufficient capacity to allow full production through the new tank leach (TL) facility for the duration of the wet season. Laying of the HDPE liner to the larger TSF-3 dam surface has been deferred until the dry season, says Tiger.
Commissioning of the TL facility is underway. Sufficient slimes material – being the copper bearing residues contained in the existing TSF-1 – have been recovered to support tank leach production through the remainder of the wet season.
Tiger also reports it has received approval for and completed the drawdown of the remaining funds available under the US$162,5 million facility provided by the lender group of Taurus Mining Finance Fund, Resource Capital Fund VI LP and the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank).
The Kipoi project is located 75 km north-west of Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga Province, in the central part of the Katanga Copperbelt. The Kipoi mining licence covers an area of 55 km2 and contains a 12 km-long extensively copper-cobalt mineralised segment (ecaille) of Upper Roan (R2, R4) sediments. The project hosts five known copper deposits: Kipoi Central, Kipoi North, Kileba, Judeira and Kaminafitwe.
Tiger has adopted a staged development approach at Kipoi. The high-grade zone of copper mineralisation at Kipoi Central was exploited during the Stage 1 development, in which a heavy media separation (HMS) plant was in operation from 2011 to late 2014. Tiger commenced copper cathode production at Kipoi via an SX/EW plant in May 2014 as Stage 2 of operations.