METALS Exploration and its Filipino partner FCF Minerals Corporation are on schedule to commence commissioning of the Runruno Gold Project during June. The production ramp-up ad plant optimisation is expected to occur throughout the second half of the year.

There has been good progress in all critical areas of construction including structural steel erection, top of tank steel erection, ROM concrete structure erection, Main Control Centre switch room structures and installation and erection of the ball mill.

Commissioning of the processing plant at Runruno Gold Project is expected to start by the end of June.
Commissioning of the processing plant at Runruno Gold Project is expected to start by the end of June.

The critical path for construction of the process plant is through the mill/grinding and gravity area structures, ROM structure and the several main control room structures. Gravity area structural mechanical and piping works began in February and FCF owner’s construction team is confident commissioning can begin by the end of June.

A BIOX® mini plant has been established and commissioned after four truckloads of ore were delivered for its start‐up operation. There were three truckloads of high grade high sulphide ore excavated from stage 1 of the mine area and one load of medium grade ore from stage 1.5.

Bacterial and fungi inoculum cultures necessary for the BIOX® and ASTER™ processes, which are licensed for use at Runruno by BIOMIN South Africa, have been received from SGS SA laboratories in Johannesburg. These cultures have been successfully reactivated in the mini plant and their activity is being carefully monitored ready for commencement of operations.

Production of gold and sulphide concentrates using Runruno ores has started in the mini plant. These concentrates will be used to build up the volume of inoculum available for process plant commissioning. The mini plant is also being used to train operators and provide a stock of active bacteria to accelerate the commissioning and ramp‐up processes. An onsite assay laboratory has been constructed and is being equipped.

Construction work on the residual storage impoundment was 46.9% complete at January 31. This is expected to be commissioned in May, in advance of the process plant commissioning.

Metals Ex executive chairman Ian Holzberger said, “The Runruno project is really taking shape as we prepare for and look towards production. Capital expenditure incurred to date is more than US$150 million, a significant portion of which has already gone into the local economy through wages, supply contracts, local subcontractors and taxes. It is also pleasing to resolve the project’s electrical power needs after signing a five year contract with SN Aboitiz Power RES Inc.”

 

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