Dundee Tsumeb probes smelter incident

By Hilary Mare

DUNDEE Precious Metals has announced that on September 3, the mine had an incident at its Tsumeb smelter following a pressurization event in the Ausmelt offgas system during a restart after routine maintenance activities.

In this regard injuries were sustained by two employees, both of whom the mine said, are receiving appropriate care.

Rick Howes, President and CEO of mine has in response noted that a full investigation into the cause of this incident is underway to ensure we prevent such incidents in the future

“The safety of our employees continues to be our highest priority. We are committed to supporting the individuals that have been injured to achieve a fast and full recovery,” Howes said.

The mine also stated that it has initiated the required repairs to the offgas system which are expected to take 10 to 14 days, during which the Ausmelt system will not be in operation.

“With this estimated additional downtime, the smelter is still trending towards the low end of its 2019 guidance of between 225,000 and 250,000 tonnes of complex concentrate smelted. The planned maintenance shutdown for the fourth quarter of 2019 will occur as originally scheduled,” said Howes.

Following recent operational improvements, the next Ausmelt shutdown is not expected until 2021 allowing for additional smelter throughput in 2020.

Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition of mineral properties, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The Company’s operating assets include the Chelopech operation, which produces a gold-copper concentrate containing gold, copper and silver and a pyrite concentrate containing gold, located east of Sofia, Bulgaria; the Ada Tepe operation, which produces a gold concentrate containing gold and silver, located in southern Bulgaria; and the Tsumeb smelter, a complex copper concentrate processing facility located in Namibia. DPM also holds interests in a number of developing gold and exploration properties located in Canada and Serbia, and its 10.3% interest in Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.