Ramp up of the recently commissioned 25,000 tonne/annum copper cathode solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) plant at Finders Resources Wetar Copper Project in Maluku Barat Daya, Indonesia, has reached more than 87% of nameplate capacity.

The plant has now plated more than 2800 tonnes of LME Grade A copper cathode for five continuous days as part of the ramp-up program. Operations staff are now focused on achieving and maintaining nameplate production by the end of September.

Ore production from the open pit continues to steadily increase ensuring a critical mass of material is stacked for maintaining solution inventory for efficient operation at nameplate capacity.

The neutralisation plant, which is the last major plant item constructed for the expansion project, has been successfully commissioned.

Finders’ managing director Barry Cahill said, “With copper cathode production rapidly approaching nameplate capacity and the neutralisation plant successfully commissioned, we now look forward to directing our efforts towards growing the mine life through our resource expansion drilling and exploration initiatives.”

Finders has also decided to withdraw from the Ojalali Silver-Gold Project in Sumatra. Following an extensive review of the project data, the company determined that it would gain greater near-term benefit from advancing its highly prospective copper targets on Wetar Island.

Finders has handed control of the Ojalali licences back to its local partner in Indonesia which will allow the company to focus on maximising the potential of the Wetar project.

Wetar 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.

As well as the 25,000 tonnes SX-EW plant, Finders operates a 3000 tonne SX-EW plant for annual production capacity of 28,000 tonnes.

Opportunities for extending the mine life past the current 7.5 years are strongly founded on exploration upside, focusing initially on the nearby Meron satellite deposit and other identified VMS copper and gold targets on the island.

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