THE Wetar Copper Project on Wetar Island in eastern Indonesia continues to perform strongly for Finders Resources. During May, the SX-EW plant exceeded the company’s annual production target of 28,000 tonnes of copper cathode.

In May a record of 2401 tonnes of copper cathode was produced, up from 2174 tonnes produced in April. The company says the higher production levels have continued into June and the project is on track to set a new quarterly production record.

In the March quarter, Finders produced 6125 tonnes with sales of 7153 tonnes at an average price of US$2.60 per pound of copper. There was an unsold finished product inventory of 2253 tonnes of copper cathode at the end of the quarter.

The unaudited cash cost also improved from US$1.00 per pound in April to US$0.98 in May. Both were below the life of mine estimate of US$1.05 per pound. The June quarter unit cost is also expected to improve on the March 2017 quarter cost of US$1.03.

Finders operates 3000 tonne and 25,000 plants at the project with the latter coming on line in June 2016.

Finders’ managing director Barry Cahill said, “Operations at the Wetar project continue to improve and unit costs continue to come down, with potential for further reductions as the production profile increases.”

Exploration also continues with high-grade copper mineralisation encountered in drilling at the Lerokis deposit.

The project is on the north central coast of Wetar Island and is part of Maluku Barat Daya Regency (MBD), Maluku Province. Wetar Island is remote and supports a total population of around 9000. It can be accessed by boat from a number of ports including Alor, Kisar and Atapupu, and by landing craft.  The closest villages to the project, Lurang and Uhak, have a total population of around 900.

The project comprises the development, open pit mining and processing of the high-grade sulphide deposits at Kali Kuning and Lerokis, which are within 3km of the coast. It benefits from having existing infrastructure in place, particularly a wharf, camp and roads as well as partially exposed copper ore bodies from a prior gold mining era.

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