London-based Central Asia Metals is on course to achieve its production guidance of 13 000 t to 14 000 t of copper cathode this year, executive chairperson Nick Clarke said on Wednesday.
The Kounrad dump leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning copper recovery plant, in Kazakhstan, produced 7 027 t of copper in the first six months of 2016, compared with 6 908 t in the corresponding period.
The second quarter was an important period for Central Asia Metals, as it had started production at the Western Dumps of Kounrad.
Copper cathode sales increased by 8% year-on-year to 6 870 t in the January-to-June period. Most of the copper was sold through Central Asia Metals’ offtake partner, Traxys.
Meanwhile, Clarke reported that the company had started drilling and had initiated a wider exploration programme at the Shuak copper project, in northern Kazakhstan.
Together with partners Aksu-Esil, Central Asia Metals has been undertaking geological mapping and is nearing completion of a TEM-FAST geophysics programme, which has been designed primarily to ascertain the depth and extent of the saprolite weathering horizon.
The company has started a 4 700 m drilling programme together with an initial 7 000 m core hydrotransport drilling campaign. Priority areas for both work programmes are Mongol V and Mongol North. In total, 22 000 m of drilling are planned for 2017.
Central Asia Metals also has a 75% equity interest in Copper Bay, which is a private company that has conducted a definitive feasibility study at its copper project in Chañaral Bay, Chile.