|35th shipment completed
||April 26, 2013
|36th shipment expected
|5th shipment completed
||December 18, 2012
|6th shipment expected
It is anticipated that shipments of copper concentrate will occur every six to eight weeks and shipments of zinc concentrate will occur every four to six months depending on ship availability and marketing arrangements.
- Volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit (Copper / Zinc / Gold / Silver)
- Off-take agreement for the duration of the mine life
- Mine life extension on surrounding tenements
The Canatuan mine is a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit located in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. From 2004 to mid-2008, we produced gold and silver doré from an overlying gossan (oxidized) portion of the deposit. As this upper portion of the orebody was mined out, the underlying primary sulphide portion of the deposit, containing copper and zinc, was exposed.
By March 2009, we had finished the construction of a new sulphide production plant and commenced commercial production of copper concentrate. To date, 25 copper concentrate shipments of approximately 5,000 dry metric tonnes each have been completed.
In April 2010, we completed expansion construction on a Zinc Circuit that allowed for the production of zinc concentrate. Since that time, continuous adjustments have been made to produce the largest volume of concentrates (copper and zinc) with the highest grade and metal recovery.
On July 7, 2011, we completed our first zinc concentrate shipment of approximately 1,381 dry metric tonnes.
Zinc production is lower than copper production due to the higher grade of the zinc concentrate. Approximate 5,000 dry metric tonne zinc concentrate shipments are expected to occur every four to six months. The second zinc concentrate shipment is scheduled for December 2011.
Increasing levels of zinc in the mill feed have affected copper concentrate production in 2011. In order to produce saleable copper concentrate, chemical consumption had to be increased to lower the levels of zinc (and cadmium and arsenic) in the copper concentrate. This resulted in higher initial processing costs at the plant.
To increase capacity, construction of additional zinc flotation was initiated in Q2 this year and was completed on schedule in Q3. As expected, this additional capacity is increasing zinc recovery. Continuous adjustments will be made to produce the largest volume of concentrates (copper and zinc) with the highest possible saleable grade and metal recovery.
Production costs have decreased quarter over quarter in 2011 due to the stabilization of the mill process resulting in a lower consumption of chemicals and an increase in gold and silver production.
Because of the higher cadmium and arsenic levels in the copper concentrate as a result of the zinc separation process, our off-take partner had to secure an alternate destination to a smelter that could refine the copper concentrate. It is anticipated that the lower trending production costs will assist in offsetting the increase in shipping and refining charges realized in Q2 and Q3 2011. While efforts continue to reduce production costs, it is likely that shipping and refining costs will remain at current levels for the foreseeable future.
For each concentrate shipment, an initial provisional payment for 90% of the estimated value will be received, while payment for the remaining 10% will be due once the final details relating to weight, assays and prices are determined.