Recent test work that revealed a high-grade mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) with copper and cobalt has prompted a study update to produce separate copper and cobalt MHPs.
Cape Lambert’s chairman Tony Sage said: “I am very pleased that the updated engineering study has provided for the production of separate cobalt-rich and copper-rich MHP products that we anticipate it will attract a much wider market of buyers and that the engineering design works are progressing with equipment and construction works out to tender.”
The production of separate products is advantageous as the copper-rich MHP can be sold to copper-focused companies and the cobalt-rich MHP can be sold to cobalt-focused companies.
This therefore expands the potential buyer base for Kipushi products.
Updated flow sheet
Costs remain low
The revised flow sheet resulted in new costs estimates which continue to support the project’s feasibility.
The capital cost estimate which includes a contingency has been updated to US$41.7 million and the operating costs have been updated to US$63.41 per tonne of tailings.
With cobalt trading at US$64,000 per tonne, the project has good potential to be a high-margin operation.
Project advancing with tender processes underway
Following the commencement of the detailed design by consultant Minnovo, tenders for the major pieces of equipment were issued, with responses due back shortly.
The tender process is also underway for the concrete works at the leaching plant with proposals due by the end of this month.
Finally, the design work for the leach residue storage facility has been awarded and a site visit to occur shortly.