Almasane Alkobra Mining (AMAK) is planning to commence the Al Masane copper-zinc mine expansion project (Moyeath orebody development) in the first quarter of next year.

In a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange, the company said it is currently in the final stages of construction and preparation needed to commence cold commissioning phase.

Almasane Alkobra is planning to initiate experimental trials at project at the end of Q4 2023.

The new plant, which is being developed particularly to process the Moyeath orebody, will be equipped to have a processing capacity of 400,000tpa.

The facility is expected to increase the base metal production capacity by 50%, with a total of 1.2 million tonnes per year.

Located in Najran, Saudi Arabia, the Al Masane copper zinc mine began commercial production in 2012.

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The Al Masane underground mine covers three areas, namely Saadah, Al-Houra and Moyeath.

By leveraging several unit operations, the Al Masane plant recovers base and precious metals from a blend of Saadah, Al Houra and Moyeath ore sources.

The operations include crushing, grinding, flotation, dewatering, using cyanidation, Merrill-Crowe and sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) processes.

The tailings material will then be dry-stacked in a tailings storage facility.

According to Almasane Alkobra Mining, the Al Masane expansion project, the Moyeath orebody comprises high levels of zinc, silver, copper and gold in comparison to Saadah and Al-Houra orebodies.