Modern Mining

Reporting on its Uis tin project in Namibia, AIM-listed AfriTin Mining says that following the completion of a mapping programme and construction of a 3-D geological model, it has undertaken a detailed mine design for the V1 and V2 pegmatite bodies, previously identified as priority targets to supply feed to the new intermediary processing plant.

View of the Uis mine in Namibia (photo: AfriTin).

The Uis mine is located in the west of the country in the Erongo Region about 220 km north of Walvis Bay. Mining operations were conducted by a subsidiary of Iscor from the 1950s through to 1990 when the mine closed as a result of a collapse in the tin price. AfriTin is working towards re-establishing the mine as a major tin producer.

The mine design includes an initial five-year mine production schedule to commence operations on the outcropping pegmatite bodies and existing excavations of the historical V1/V2 pits.

This internal mine plan supports an overburden stripping ratio of less than 1 (overburden-to-ore ratio) and a fast ramp-up profile utilising conventional open-pit mining methods. Material will be liberated through drilling and blasting; loading and hauling will be effected by combining excavators and articulated dump trucks.

The run-of-mine feed to the plant for this phase of development is planned at 500 000 tonnes per year with an anticipated annual production of 800 tonnes of saleable tin concentrate (although, at this stage, this rate is not guaranteed). The target for the following phase remains 5 000 tonnes of tin concentrate per annum.

A plant location has been identified close to the V1/V2 pegmatite bodies. The site layout and project infrastructure is being finalised and earthworks and civil works construction are scheduled to commence during May 2018 with production on track for H2 2018.

“We are very pleased with the results of this early production phase mine design work that has recently been completed,” comments AfriTin’s CEO, Anthony Viljoen. “Once operational, we believe this will confirm the potential of the Uis project as a world-class tin mine with low operational risks.

“Whilst we believe Uis has the resources to be a long-life operation, this phased approach should provide a platform for sustainable early cash flows. It should also de-risk the implementation of a larger scale mining and processing facility which in turn should allow us to progress long term project financing options. We remain excited about the project progression and the long-term opportunity that AfriTin provides to investors in the world tin market.”

In another development relating to Uis, AfriTin has announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between itself and MRI Trading AG for an artisanal buying operation for tin concentrate in Namibia.

MRI specialises in the trade of non-ferrous ores, concentrates, refined and precious metals and their related by-products for a global smelting and processing customer base.

Concurrent with AfriTin’s work programme to achieve its objective of production from the Uis mine later this year, the company intends to explore with MRI the possibility of sourcing cassiterite concentrate from local artisanal miners to establish early cash flows. This proposal could also add value to the people of Damaraland by providing economic opportunities to the community.

Additionally, AfriTin and MRI will explore establishing a buying station, which would allow for the analysis of the material offered by the artisanal miners.

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