Canadian mining exploration and development company Trigon Metals has produced the first copper concentrates at the Kombat Mine in Namibia.

Closed in 2008 due to underground flooding, the copper mine restarted production following 14 years of closure.

Prior to the recommissioning, the mine was equipped with filter presses.

Once full commercial production starts at the expected time of March 2022, the Kombat Mine will have a 4,000t copper in concentrate production capacity.

Production from the mine is planned to be further increased to 14,500t of copper in concentrate in 2024. This will be followed by the start of higher-grade underground ore recovery and upgrades to crushing and milling.

In a press statement, Trigon said: “The concentrate produced exceeded the expectations of management, demonstrating that the combination of new equipment from Xinhai and refurbished equipment from the historic operation are operating well.

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“The feed material for this initial production was sub-optimal lower grade ore while grind size, residence times and reagent use are being optimised, but satisfactory copper grades were achieved approaching 20% copper and over 600g/t silver, well ahead of expectation at this stage of start-up.”

Located in the Otavi Mountainland on the Northern Platform Margin of the Damara Orogenic Belt, the Kombat Project comprises three mining licences.

These licences produced around 12.46Mt of copper at a grade of 2.62%, between 1962 and 2008.

Tulela Mining & Construction served as the open-pit mining contractor for the Kombat Mine.