The company, in a statement, said that the Spanish tungsten mine is now achieving throughput rates of up to 190 tonnes per hour which is sufficient to meet the steady state processing target of 1.1mln tonnes per year.
It also noted that the processing of low-grade ore feed from the northern starter pit has produced concentrates exceeding 74% tungsten, which is close to targeted specification, and, refinement work is underway.
"The commissioning of the new process plant at Barruecopardo has essentially been completed, with the plant throughput achieving rates sufficient to meet the project's steady state processing target of 1.1mln tonnes per annum,” said Michael Donoghue, chairman and interim managing director.
“The concentrates produced during commissioning are close to targeted specification, so with feed grade being the critical issue the focus on the project has now turned to developing mining procedures and revised mining schedules to target higher grade, more representative ore sources earlier in the Year-1 ramp-up schedule.”
Ormonde added that it is now planning to target higher grade ore sources in the near term after initial ore fed from the northern starter pit – representing only the first few months of mining – returned lower than forecast grades.
The plan is now to bring forward mining at the higher grade southern starter pit, and, these operations have now started. It will also accelerate waste stripping in the historic pit to bring forward access to the main orebody.