Canadian exploration and development company Kombat Copper president and CEO Paul Bozoki is confident that the Kombat copper mine, in the Otavi Mountainlands of Namibia, will start production in late 2016 and begin generating cash flow for the company. The Kombat mine historically produced 12.46-million tonnes of copper at an average grade of 2.62%, as well as silver and lead. Kombat Copper is “very pleased with the rapid progress” at the Kombat mine and the quality of work being performed by mining contractor EBM Mining Namibia, Bozoki says in a March 29 statement.
EBM is confident that it will meet the commissioning date of the production facilities at the copper mine, which Kombat Copper says is one of the most significant copper mines in Namibia. Since EBM has been active at the Kombat copper mine, the company has identified the tasks and activities necessary to restart mining on site, and is liable for planning and refurbishment costs, hiring of staff and the procurement of supplies and equipment.
EBM is pleased with the progress being made with regard to a plant clean-up operation and expects commissioning to take place in the third quarter. Repairs on pipe fittings and electrical equipment are under way to get the site clean and ready for operation by this target date. Cleaning and refurbishment of the crushing plant were in progress, as of March 29.
Feed chutes and conveyors that needed replacement were also being repaired, while the Symons crusher was being stripped, cleaned and rebuilt. Cleaning of the grinding plant was completed in January and involved the refurbishment of pumps and a complete inspection of all rod and ball mills. Some repairs were required, specifically on the rod mill gear and pinion, along with the replacement of some shell liners and lifters. Mill drives have also been inspected, cleaned and lubricated, while all the required parts and spares have been ordered. Flotation plant refurbishment was scheduled to be completed in March and includes the cleaning and refurbishment of the flotation cells. As of March 29, EBM was negotiating with a local company to produce the required parts to complete work on the flotation circuit. EBM has also been working through the geological reports and extensive data provided by Kombat Copper and good progress has been made in relation to mine planning and scheduling.
All the necessary equipment and parts not on site have been, or are in the process of being, acquired or sourced through contractors. Kombat Copper explains that its core opera- tions are focused on copper resources in Namibia, one of the world’s most prospective copper regions, where it has substantial assets in place with significant upside.
The company holds an 80% interest in five mining licences in the Otavi Mountainlands, an area of Namibia particularly known for its high-grade copper deposits. Within these licences are three past-producing mines, including the company’s flagship property, the Kombat mine. The mine was operational from 1962 to 2008 with few interruptions and has vital existing infrastructure, including power, water, roads and rail access. One of the most important assets is the 800 m exploration shaft built at a cost of $30-million.
This shaft was sunk to provide underground access to the Asis Far West area, which intersects the continuation of the orebody as it extends down-dip and to the west of the historic Kombat mine workings. “Our site also includes three recent operational shafts, ramp systems, extensive underground workings, mine buildings, a tailings facility and a town site,” notes Kombat Copper, adding that the company further has a mill and concentrator with a replacement value of more than $100-million. The mine is also in close proximity to one of only five commercial-grade smelters in Namibia, at Tsumeb, and has direct rail access to the port at Walvis Bay.
“Kombat Copper has contracted EBM to begin mining lead/copper mineralisation at Kombat East, Kombat Central and potentially Gross Otavi within the year. Concentrates are expected to be produced at the company’s production facilities, which are being refur- bished by EBM,” the company says. EBM is also evaluating opportunities to market aggregate stone and sand by-products locally.