Uis mine output jumps up 79%

By Hilary Mare

AIM-listed AfriTin mining reports that tin concentrate production at its flagship asset, the Uis mine increased to 35 tonnes in July, a 79 percent increase from June.

AfriTin is continuing to operate the Uis mine at full scale despite ongoing Covid-19 measures in Namibia.

All necessary steps to mitigate a possible outbreak have been taken and the company has reported that there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the mine.

Tin concentrate production for the year to date totals 112 tonnes and the miner has dispatched its sixth shipment of tin concentrate from the mine.

AfriTin mining CEO Anthony Viljoen says that, despite operational challenges related to Covid-19 and the production ramp-up during the first half of the year, the performance of the Uis operation is displaying improvement, which, together with the rebound in the tin price and the successful completion of AfriTin’s recent capital raising, provide a strong platform for the rest of this year.

“Building on the results of our improvement initiatives, we expect to further expand production at Uis, while simultaneously advancing our project studies towards the full implementation of Phase 1,” Viljoen says.

In terms of processing for stage one of phase one, the miner is targeting the processing of 45 000 tonnes of ore a month, at a rate of 80 tonnes/hour, for the production of 60 tonnes of tin concentrate a month.

The tin-in-concentrate grade has averaged 65 percent, representing a premium product largely free from deleterious elements.

AfriTin is achieving an average pay ability of 93 percent, referring to the percentage of the London Metals Exchange tin price realised for the tin contained in concentrate.

In addition, the off take agreement with Thaisarco has been renewed for a further 12 months.

The miner also notes that initiatives to address bottlenecks in the processing plant circuits and expand production remain ongoing and on schedule.

As a result of higher-than-anticipated fine material in the run-of-mine feed, improvements were required to rebalance material flows.

During the second quarter, improvement efforts have been focussed on the fines discard dewatering circuit, in particular the dewatering of grits (and slimes). These modifications to the fines dewatering circuit are nearing completion and are expected to result in improved concentrator plant throughput.

The Uis mine is a large open pit mine located in the western part of Namibia in Erongo. Uis represents one of the largest tin reserves in Namibia, having estimated reserves of 60 million tonnes of ore grading 0.13 percent tin.