First copper has been plated at Finders Resources’ recently commissioned 25,000 tonne/annum copper cathode solvent extraction electrowinning (SX-EW) plant at the Wetar Copper Project in Indonesia.
Commissioning of the Wetar expansion project continues with staff now focusing on ramping up production and adding to copper cathode output from the already operating 3000 tonne/annum SX-EW plant.
The 25,000 tonne SX-EW plant will lift annual production capacity at the project on Wetar Island to 28,000 tonnes.
Finders’ managing director Barry Cahill said, “In what has been a very tight construction schedule, it is very pleasing to be able to announce the plating of first copper at the 25,000 tonne SX-EW plant. It has been a testing period and is a credit to the efforts of all those involved.
“I would particularly like to thank the project team comprising many staff, consultants and contractors for their efforts in achieving this significant milestone at the Wetar project.”
The Wetar project comprises the development, open pit mining and processing of the high-grade sulphide deposits at Kali Kuning and Lerokis, located within 3km of the coast on Wetar Island. The project benefits from having existing infrastructure in place, particularly a wharf, camp and roads, and partially pre-stripped copper ore bodies from a prior gold mining era.
The project began with a 3000 tonne/annum SX-EW plant which has produced 6000 tonnes of LME Grade A copper cathode, all of which was sold at a premium to the LME price and without specification issues.
Finders has arranged a US$162 million senior facility and an additional US$45 million project level equity facility to fund the expansion project.
ASX-listed Finders has 72% interests in two Indonesian projects – Wetar and the Ojalali Gold-Silver Project.