Mexican mineral exploration company Cyprium Mining has started milling operations at its 100t a day flotation plant in Aldama, Northern Mexico.
The company signed an agreement with Aldama plant owner, SkyFall Industries, in October 2014, to acquire mill feed from Aldama for processing at the facility, located outside the city of Chihuahua. Deliveries of 500t of mineralised material have been accepted so far.
Under the terms of agreement, Cyprium will use the Aldama plant on a variable cost basis over the next five years.
Cyprium will acquire mill feed for its own account and will be responsible for the supervision of all metallurgic processes, including quantitative chemical analysis, assaying of samples, determining feed grades and the sale of concentrates.
Cyprium president and CEO Andre St Michel said: "The milling process started last week with the crushing phase and we expect to make our first sale of concentrate in the month of May.
"Based on the results we obtain from the first milling campaign, we may enter into a long-term supply agreement with the mine that provided the initial 500t."
Skyfall president Hector Bustillos said: "Our partnership with Cyprium is a positive development for our local mining sector, which is characterised by several small-to-medium size miners but a lack in efficiently run processing facilities.
"We believe that SkyFall's long history in dealing with and purchasing minerals from several small and medium-sized miners in Northern Mexico when combined with Cyprium's professionally run processing plant will be a winning proposition for all involved."
In April, Cyprium closed the first disbursement of $4.5m debt financing for an amount of $1m, most of which will be dedicated to the Aldama plant and the company's tolling business.