Adriatic Metals PLC said it will continue to stockpile ore while it completes final commissioning of the processing plant at its Vares silver mine development in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Underground development pace has increased significantly, the company said in a statement, while phased commissioning of the plant is underway though delays with delivery and the power hook-up mean first concentrate is now expected early in 2024.
The delay will provide an opportunity for an increased stockpile and improved grade management in the ramp-up to nameplate capacity, Adriatic added.
An upgrade to the resource at Vares is scheduled for this quarter following drilling at Rupice NorthWest, ongoing metallurgical test work and new mining studies, the company noted.
Additonal drilling has just been completed on other targets at Rupice West and Semizova Ponikva, both within the Vares footprint, while assays from the Semizova Ponikva brownfield are also expected this quarter.
Cash balances were US$68 million at the end of September.
Paul Cronin, Adriatic’s chief executive, said: “We are very pleased that the measures we have implemented at Rupice are really making an impact with significantly increased development rates and decreased cycle times.
“Crucially we are now stockpiling ore and preparing a structural geology drilling programme that will assist with future mine planning.
“Development of the other mine infrastructure will be completed in November with sections of the haul road already handed over to the municipality and the rail line and railhead refurbishment nearly concluded.
“Our recent exploration and definition drilling campaign at Rupice delivered an updated MRE in July that demonstrated a 93% increase in Indicated Resource tonnes compared with the 2020 Rupice MRE.
“We believe this new MRE will enable a significant extension of the life of mine of the Vares Project to over twenty years,“ Cronin said.