Central Asia Metals is on track to meet its 2015 production target of 13,000 tonnes of copper from the Kounrad Copper Project after March quarter production was up by 23% on the corresponding quarter of 2014 and sales were up 26%. There were 2350 tonnes of copper produced in the quarter with 2233 tonnes sold through the company's offtake agreement with Traxys.
Total production since the start of operations in April 2012 to the end of the March quarter is just over 30,000 tonnes.
The company says that two additional boilers installed in 2014 allowed processing rates to be raised at the Kounrad SE-EW copper recovery plant during the winter. Expansion of the plant is ahead of schedule and within budget. The development will increase annual capacity at the plant from a rate of 10,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes.
The solvent extraction and electro-winning (SE-EW) plant extracts and upgrades copper ions from low grade waste dumps into an organic solvent before acid is applied to separate the copper. Commissioning of the additional SX-EW facility is expected to start at the end of April.
Design and permitting procedures for the stage 2 expansion out to the western dumps continue as scheduled, with the ordering of equipment and materials expected to commence late in the third quarter in preparation for site construction activity to start in quarter one of 2016.
The company’s CEO Nick Clarke said: “Our production objectives in 2015 are focused on completing the ongoing expansion works, which will enable us to meet our increased annual target of 13,000 tonnes of copper cathode, whilst maintaining our low cash cost of production.”