Newly Aim-listed Afritin Mining has set focus on becoming ‘The Africa tin champion’ by bringing its flagship Uis tin project to commercial production.
Anthony Viljoen, Afritin Mining Chief Executive Officer said the company aims to build an economic pilot plant to achieve commercial production, [and thereafter will] start incremental upscaling to a larger plant.
“Afritin Mining aims to largely complete a bankable feasibility study for the Uis tin project to introduce project financing-related debt of about £20-million for the large-scale commercial industrial plant,” said Viljoen.
The Uis tin project was once one of the largest opencast tin mines worldwide, before former owner, then South African State-owned metals company Iscor, stopped mining in the 1980s as a result of declining tin prices.
The upgrade of the gravity separation-based pilot plant to commercial scale is estimated to take between 9 and 12 months and will cost about £2-million. The cash flow generated from the operations will be applied to maintain/sustain the operations at a steady state.
Concurrently, Afritin aims to use the basis of a detailed mine works plan, supplied by consulting firm SRK to Iscor in 1985, for the bankable feasibility study.
Viljoen further argued that, while Africa used to be the fourth-largest exporter of tin, there have been no industrially developed projects on the continent, in modern times.
“However, Afritin Mining aims to bring Africa up to its past production levels of tin, and to become the primary mover of tin concentrate from the African continent or from a portfolio of tin assets,” Viljoen said, adding that having industrial-scale production will be the company’s competitive advantage in the market.
According to Viljoen, the only other comparable opencast tin mine worldwide is Pitinga, in Brazil, which is owned by Peruvian miner Minsur.
Current tin projects in Africa include miner Alphamin Resources’ Bisie tin project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ASX-listed mineral exploration and development company Kasbah Resources’ Achmach tin project, in Morocco.