Keras Resources reports progress in Utah and Togo
Keras Resources updated the market on progress at the Diamond Creek high-grade direct shipping ore organic phosphate mine in Utah and the Nayéga manganese mine in Togo on Tuesday, reporting that the 2020 mining campaign was now complete at Diamond Creek.
The AIM-traded firm said 7,620 run-of-mine tons were extracted, including the bulk sample, which was over 50% more than was initially planned for the first year of production.
It said it dold 1,012 tons of product at an average price of $260 per ton.
The company said it was focussed on bringing a new owner-operated plant into production with the capacity to process the five-year 48,000-ton production target.
Fabrication of the plant was on time, and was expected to be shipped from Shanghai in November.
Keras said it had agreed a new plant location to increase logistics flexibility, and provide better access to the west coast of the US, with plant commissioning expected in the first quarter of 2021.
At Nayéga, Keras described the management trip in September as “successful”, reporting positive meetings with high level government officials and various service providers, with another planned in early November.
It said the trip “underpinned” Nayéga's production-ready status following a site visit to dry-test the 6,500 tonne per month bulk sample processing plant, and associated water reticulation system.
A total of 25 of the planned 50 pits of the Ogaro pitting programme were now complete, with the company on track to complete the pitting phase by the end of October.
Channel samples would then be submitted to determine grade and particle size distribution per geological horizon.
On the corporate front, Keras also noted that it had increased its interest in Falcon Isle Holdings, the 100% owner of the Diamond Creek, to 40%, having loaned tranches 2a and 2b totalling %1.2m to Falcon Isle.
“Our attention now turns to bringing our owner-operated plant into production [at Diamond Creek] so that we can increase both our processing flexibility and our product range and subsequently widen our marketing universe,” said chief executive officer Russell Lamming.
“Excitingly, we secured a new site 150 kilometres south west of Spanish Fork, which facilitates increased flexibility and better access to the US west coast without increasing our logistics cost from the mine to the new processing facility.
“Although this has pushed the commissioning into early 2021, the long-term benefits far outweigh this slight delay.”
Looking at Nayéga, Lamming said himself and Graham Stacey met key government officials, government advisors and various contractors and service providers to ensure that, as the firm progressed towards the conclusion of the project permitting process, it was production ready.
“The Nayéga site visit undertaken during the trip, where both the processing plant and ancillary services were successfully dry-tested, is testament to the quality and drive of our in-country team, which has achieved this despite the severe restrictions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our recent trip to Togo was extremely valuable from both an operational and corporate perspective and we look forward to advancing the appropriate discussions with the new Togolese government following the recent appointment of Victoire Tomegah Dogbé as the new prime minister and Mila Aziable as the new minister of energy and mines.”
At 1028 BST, shares in Keras Resources were down 3.57% at 0.14p.