Canadian mining company Trigon Metals has produced the first sale-ready, dried copper concentrate from the mill at its Kombat mine in Namibia, with a capacity of 1,000tpd.

The company stated that on 21 August, it ran the mill at 44% capacity, processing around 436t of ore.

It plans to increase the capacity to 70% production by the end of next month.

As per Trigon, the mill at the Kombat mine was purposefully fed with lower-grade material with an average grade of 0.73% copper salvaged from waste identified by ore spotters.

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By using low-grade feed, it aims to show the efficiency of the process, where it produced a concentrate grade of 33.5% at recoveries of 79.5%.

It claims that the resulting concentrate has an expected grade of 20% and recoveries have the potential to improve with higher-grade feed. Concentrates with higher grades translate to higher profitability and lower treatment and shipment costs per unit of copper produced.

Presently, the company has stockpiles on run-of-mine pads, totalling 27,000t of ore with an average of 1.2% copper. This roughly translates to one month of ore feed.

Trigon operations vice-president and Kombat mine manager Fanie Müller said: “The mill is performing very well. This level of efficiency on our starter feed puts us in an excellent position as we start to feed our target grades.” 

Recently, the company obtained $8.9m in financing from Epiroc Financial Solutions for purchasing underground mining equipment to restart operations at the Kombat mine.