THE Wetar Copper Project expansion on Wetar Island remains on track for commissioning and first production during the current quarter. Finders Resources says the expansion project will increase annual copper cathode capacity from 3000 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes.

In its September quarterly report, Finders said that mine construction and related activities advanced in accordance with expectations. “Earthmoving activity increased following mobilisation of a second earthmoving fleet, with Stormwater Pond Three advancing to the floor of the underdrainage. Once the underdrainage is installed, the dam walls will be shaped and compacted to allow installation of the liner.”

The first cell of the KKV Heap Leach Pad, the largest pad adjacent to the 25,000 tonne SX-EW plant site, was lined and the new crusher was crushing the initial bedding layer.

Finders said earthworks at Stormwater Pond Two had been completed and the pond was being lined. “Once completed the pumps and necessary pipework will be installed and the pond will be ready for use. The 25,000 tonne plant raffinate pond adjacent to the plant site is lined and ready for use.

“The final cut on the neutralisation pad is being undertaken prior to handover for commencement of concrete work. The cut required widening of the main haul road to allow the pad to be enlarged. During excavation of the open pit haul ramp onto the main access ramp a small quantity of additional ore was excavated from outside the ore reserve.

“Pouring of concrete to establish foundations for the 25,000 tonne plant continued. Tank refurbishment has been completed on a number of the major tanks. The fibreglass contractor’s focus has turned to construction of the new settler and the electrolyte recirculation tank. Refurbishment of the EW cells continues.

“The fibreglass contractor completed the refurbishment of the SX settler tanks and the lifting of these tanks into position on the SX site commenced during the quarter.”

During the September quarter the project produced 425 tonnes of copper cathode from the 3000 tonne plant and sold 406 tonnes at an average price of US$2.38 per pound.

Finders’ managing director Barry Cahill said, “It is pleasing to report the significant progress made on the expansion project, which remains on budget and on track for production in Q1 2016. During the December quarter, the expansion project will really take shape as we advance into an intensive construction phase on the 25,000 tonne plant.”

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