Rambler achieves best saleable copper production in nearly five years
Copper and gold explorer, developer and producer Rambler Metals announced on Monday that for the quarter ended 30 September it achieved its highest saleable copper production since the last quarter of the 2014 financial year, at 1,475 dry metric tonnes (dmt).
The AIM-traded firm said that represented a 17% increase over the third quarter of 2018, and said it was created by a 15% increase in mill throughput and 5% increase in copper head grade compared to the same period a year ago.
Saleable gold produced in concentrate also rose, by 35% relative to the same period a year ago.
The board explained that the mining process improvement programmed, started in mid-2018, as well as executive management changes had resulted in a consistently higher ore production rate in the third quarter, at 1,160 dry tonnes per day compared to 1,012 dry tonnes per day a year ago, representing a 15% improvement.
It also resulted in a consistently higher rate of copper contained in ore produced in the third quarter, at 17.0 dry tonnes per day compared to 14.7 dry tonnes per day at the same time last year, representing a 16% improvement.
For the quarter ended 30 September, the Nugget Pond copper and gold milling facility processed 106,783 dmt at a feed grade of 1.53% copper and 0.59 grammes per tonne of gold, compared to 93,128 tonnes at a feed grade of 1.46% copper and 0.54 grammes per tonne of gold in the third quarter of 2018.
Serabi said daily production during the quarter averaged 1,358 dry tonnes per operating day, with a monthly peak of 1,416 dry tonnes per operating day in September.
On 16 August, the mill achieved a new one-day record throughput of 1,526 dry tonnes per day.
Serabi said the recovery of metal to concentrate was 93.9% and 76.0% for copper and gold respectively for the quarter, which was nearly unchanged from the third quarter of 2018 despite higher throughput.
During the quarter, the operation produced 5,212 tonnes of concentrate containing saleable metal of 1,475 tonnes of copper and 1,379 ounces of gold.
The board aid saleable tonnes of copper increased 17% from the third quarter of 2018, and saleable ounces of gold increased 35%.
“Our third quarter mine and mill performance has demonstrated the effectiveness of our focus on continuous improvements that were started in late 2018 and still continues,” said president and chief executive officer Andre Booyzen.
“Our staff and contractors are determined to produce safely and exceed production targets.
“We will keep improving mining production and the average grade of ore produced so that saleable copper production continues to increase, despite some challenging mining conditions encountered in September.”
Booyzen said the company’s efforts to develop its people and effect positive cultural changes had continued the positive momentum in its workforce, with sustained low absenteeism and low staff turnover aiding production.
“Our commitment to local recruitment and training has rewarded us with a stable and dedicated workforce.
“We have completed work ahead of schedule on our new tailings facility and we were depositing tailings at Camp Pond under manual control as of July 18.
“The tailings project included some critical control components necessary to sustain milling rates in excess of 1,400 dry tonnes per day and these were in place and operational on August 31.”
In the fourth quarter, Booyzen said the company would be replacing some key mining equipment that had reached the end of its useful life, as well as adding to its underground fleet to enable longer hauls as it mined deeper.
“The fourth quarter will also see us ramping up mill throughput as we see mining rates increase.”