BNC ups nickel production

HARARE - Listed Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) says production at its Trojan mine has increased by 152 percent since resumption of operations last year.

Its parent company, Mwana Africa (Mwana), yesterday said Trojan’s total nickel resource now stood at 114 952 tonnes, compared to 45 600 tonnes previously.

Kalaa Mpinga, Mwana’s chief executive, said overall resource grade increased from 1,29 percent to 1,51 percent.

“The results clearly demonstrate the longevity of the deposit. The validation of the continuance of the massives has important strategic benefits in terms of mine planning and will contribute to an improving head grade at Trojan,” he said.

“These results follow the impressive progress made underground and on the surface plant rehabilitation programme and confirms our belief in the restart of operations at Trojan and bodes well for the future of BNC,” Mpinga said.

BNC was placed under care and maintenance in 2008 after succumbing to depressed metal prices on the global market and crippling economic challenges in the country at the time.

Following dollarisation and an improved operating environment coupled with a recovery in nickel price, BNC decided to restart operations at Trojan.

In a market update, Mwana said a down dip extension of high-grade massive sulphide zone within the disseminated sulphide main ore body had been confirmed.

“The additional resource below 37 level is based on 27 diamond drill holes with a total of 9 403 metres drilled as part of the first phase of an underground drilling programme aimed at proving the down dip extension of the Trojan resource below the lowest current mining level (37 level),” said the company.

To date, drilling at Trojan extends the known orebody by approximately 300 metres down dip while mineralisation remains open at depth.

“The disseminated portion of the main ore bodies remains open along strike to the East,” said Mwana adding that this eastern zone will be the subject of further drilling planned to be carried out during 2013.

Based on the drilling results and geological interpretation, a 3-D electronic block model of the different parts of the ore body was created and the grades of each block were estimated using Ordinary Kriging.

Block volumes were converted to tonnes using the estimated relative density of each block. The classification of the combined mineral resources is based on the block variance and data density.

Mwana is a pan-African resources group. Its principal operations and exploration activities cover gold, nickel, copper and diamonds in Zimbabwe, the DRC and South Africa.

Mwana’s Freda Rebecca gold mine in Zimbabwe, having restarted operations in 2009, produced 47 770 ounces of gold in the 12 months to March 2012.

Record quarterly gold production of 18 350 ounces was achieved in the third quarter of 2012. - Business Writer

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