The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2017

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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24 | ASIA Miner | Volume 14 • Issue 4 | 2017 Indonesia PRODUCTION at Finders Resources' Wetar Copper Project has been impacted by an interruption to the 25,000 tonnes/annum copper cathode SX-EW plant. An overflow of organic and aqueous solution into the electrowinning (EW) circuit affected production in late September and early October. The solution containing contaminants and impurities from the sol- vent extraction (SX) settlers overflowed through the circuit and into the clean electrolyte for the EW circuit. This affected the operation of the EW circuit and its ability to plate copper cathode. Finders advised of the incident on September 27 and said that the contaminated electrolyte had been removed from the circuit with fresh reagents added and production restored. It said clean-up of the EW circuit would continue for a month. As a consequence, copper cathode production for the Septem- ber quarter would be reduced to below the record achieved in the June quarter, with production in October also impacted. The company said current best estimates on the total produc- tion shortfall against the June 2017 quarter was approximately 500 tonnes of copper cathode. It also said that operating costs in the period would increase due to replacement of reagents in the circuits and an increase in power usage due to circuit efficiencies. Oper- ating costs would reduce as the circuit steadily returned to normal operations. During the June quarter 6804 tonnes of copper were stripped, up from 6125 tonnes in the March quarter. Copper sales of 7419 tonnes were also a record, up from 7153 in the previous quarter and the average realised price in both quarters was US$2.60 per pound. Finders said in its quarterly report that consistent mining and pro- cessing rates were maintained. Both the 3000 tonnes/annum SX- EW and 25,000 tonnes SX-EW plants and the neutralisation plant continued to operate as expected. In the six months to June 30, the project produced 12,929 tonnes of copper cathode and sold 14,572 tonnes. Managing director Bar- ry Cahill said, "The June 2017 half year result consolidates what has been a transformational period for Finders, and has confirmed the company as a significant copper producer amongst its ASX-listed copper peers with robust financial and production metrics." AN exploration alliance between Sumatra Copper & Gold and Merdeka Copper Gold aims to extend mine life and increase pro- duction at the Tembang Gold-Silver Project. The alliance will see Indonesian gold producer Merdeka fund ongoing exploration at Su- matra's asset. Merdeka will initially invest US$1.5 million over the next six months and Sumatra will issue CDIs to Merdeka in tranches based on its exploration spend during each three month period. Ultimately Merdeka intends to invest in stages for up to US$10 million under similar terms for each successive approved exploration program, subject to ongoing exploration success and appropriate corporate approvals. Merdeka is a Jakarta Stock Exchange listed mining compa- ny that operates the Tujuh Bukit Gold-Copper Project in East Java and has an experienced executive team headed by Colin Moorhead, who is a former director of exploration for Newcrest in Indonesia. In this role he was responsible for the multi-million ounce Gosowong mine and Newcrest's past joint venture with the company at Tandai. Merdeka is expanding its mining footprint in Indonesia and Suma- tra believes it offers a strong balance sheet and technical expertise. At Tembang two exploration drill drives will be established at the Belinau underground mine between Levels 11 and12, which is the current base of planned development, to drill for depth extensions to the ore body. Two specialised diamond drill rigs have been or- dered for this program, which is anticipated to commence during the December quarter. Sumatra has started shrink stoping at Belinau from Level 9 up- wards. This is a highly selective mining method that minimises dilu- tion and provides high value ore to the mill. A broken rock inventory will be built and drawn once the stope reaches the next level. The company plans to have four stopes operating by the end of the year and eight stopes operating simul- taneously by the end of the March 2018 quarter. Sumatra has also signed an agreement with its major share- holders Provident Minerals and PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya to accelerate U$S2 million of the US$7.5 million major equity raise planned for November 2017 under the amended facility. The funds will be provided by way of a subordinated loan that will be converted into equity in November. Over f low impacts Wetar production Sumatra Copper & Gold's Tembang Gold-Silver Project in South Sumatra. Alliance seeks more Tembang resources

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