Australian copper producer CuDeco has announced that the first truckload of native copper concentrate produced at its Rocklands processing plant near Cloncurry has been delivered to the Port of Townsville.
The company will store copper concentrate at the North Queensland port before shipping it to the Zhapu port in China as part of an agreement signed with China Oceanwide International Investment.
Under preliminary analysis, the grade of these first shipments to be exported is 80% copper.
Delivery of the first shipment of sulphide copper concentrates by CuDeco is expected to take place in late-September or the first half of October to the export market.
CuDeco managing director Dr Dianmin Chen said: “Today is another important occasion for all associated with the Rocklands project, with the first truckload of native copper concentrate produced from the Rocklands processing plant transported to the Port of Townsville.
“This will generate valuable cash-flow for CuDeco, which will increase as we ramp-up towards the export of sulphide copper concentrates.”
The copper concentrates are expected to improve once the plant reaches optimised design performance levels.
Further, the company said it will continue the process of ramping up towards full production of these concentrates.
CuDeco’s Rocklands project contains 11 main ore-bodies, with nine of these partially accessed in the first-stage ten-year mine plan.
Two of these ore-bodies Las Minerale and Rocklands South contain a supergene-enriched zone, characterised by pervasive high-grade coarse native copper and associated chalcocite ore.