Australian diversified mining and exploration company Independence Group NL (IGO) has announced that ore commissioning of the processing plant at IGO’s 100% owned Nova Project has commenced approximately four weeks ahead of schedule.
Construction completion, which includes wet commissioning, was achieved on 10 October 2016 and crushing and milling on ore, commenced on 14 October 2016 following several days of operating on waste to test all system in slurry.
According to the company, this compares to the scheduled date for ore feed to the processing plant in the definitive feasibility study on 10 November 2016.
“Over the coming weeks we will focus on calibrating the processing plant control systems and achieving design concentrate grades and recoveries,” Independence said in a statement.
“The last phase of the commissioning process will be the commissioning of the concentrate filters and production of first concentrates.”
Regarding the underground progress, the company announced that approximately 8km of development has been completed underground and some 85,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.5% nickel and 0.7% copper, has been mined from development and stockpiled on the Run of Mine stockpile.
“Mining of the first stope commenced in September 2016 in an area defined by the grade control drilling and outside of the current mineral resource model with approximately 6,000 tonnes of ore broken to date,” reads the statement.
“Grade control drilling underground using three drill rigs is progressing at a faster rate than planned and we have now carried out sufficient drilling to reconcile the resource model between the 2080mRL level and the 2030mRL level.”
Commenting on these achievements, the company’s Managing Director and CEO Peter Bradford said all site infrastructure is complete and operational.
“The ore commissioning commencement is a great milestone for the Nova Project and, combined with the progress that has been achieved with the underground development, marks a significant reduction in the development risk profile for the Project. We now expect that we will produce first concentrate, ahead of time, in November 2016 and potentially by late October 2016. The project continues to be on budget,” Mr Bradford added.
“Our delivery of this ore commissioning milestone, ahead of plan, is the result of the hard work and commitment of the IGO team at Nova and the excellent contractors that we have collaborated with during the Project’s development and construction.”