Eastinco Mining and Exploration expects metallurgical testing to provide ‘important data’

Francesca Morgan
Francesca Morgan
Vox Newswire
10:00, 16th April 2021

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P FOLLOW) said it expects its metallurgical testing to provide important data to ensure it maximises the long-term potential metal recoveries on its project. 

The UK-based investment company has described its reporting period as ‘one of focussed testing and optimising the wash plant, coupled with external COVID related disruptions.’ 

The Company told investors that its current focus is to increase metallurgical test work on plant feed material and selective wash plant samples to build on the knowledge database, which will be used in conjunction with external consultants to maximise the metal recovery. 

At present, it said it is conducting laboratory-scale test work on orebody samples in order to determine the mineral composition and preferentially mineralised size fractions, with the objective of improving the recovery rate and enhancing the equipment optimisation. 

Eastinco said the work, which historically has lost and not recovered from mining operations within Rwanda, potentially represents a significant uplift to future tantalum metal recoveries.  

Meanwhile, it said recent test work on a sample from the shaking tables which was conducted at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia had returned tantalum values for 10.3% of tantalum, which is ‘very encouraging’ from feed material that grades 150-200ppm of Ta.  

Eastinco is also installing a jig-specific recycling circuit to capture waste water at its site after a Gravity Separation Engineer identified areas requiring upgrades to improve performance.  

It said the effect of these changes is’ a significant increase’ in demand for water and therefore requires additional water recycling, with the jigs now using twice the original water volume. 

Eastinco said that while several modifications are taking place, the plant is not operational, however it expects to restart the wash plant in the latter part of April. It added that it will contract another wash plant consultant to advise on any potential additional improvements. 

In addition, the Company said it is finalising the requirements with its partner, the Kuaka Co-operative, to increase the land area at Musasa from 50 hectares to 400 hectares with the issuance of a new mining licence. The Group noted that the new licence will be transferred to a joint venture company with Eastinco holding 85% and Kuaka 15% of the share capital. 

Eastinco previously received a Letter of Intent from a subsidiary of the Noble Group, to purchase a significant portion of the future tantalum and tin metal production from the Musasa operations. It said discussions will continue once the plant re-commences operations. 

The Board continues to evaluate opportunities to grow the Company's asset portfolio and further updates will be provided to the market should any of these progress. At Present, the Company stated that it has available cash and cash  equivalents of around US$0.325m. 

Charles Bray, Chairman of Eastico, said, "We are pleased to provide this update to our shareholders who have remained incredibly patient and understanding of the challenges that we, as with many other companies globally, have faced over the last 12 months.  

The inability of suppliers to meet contractual obligations with engineering expertise has forced us to acquire the requisite knowledge from third-parties and has inevitably led to delays.” 

He said, “Nevertheless, the current phase of metallurgical testing will provide important data to ensure we maximise the potential metal recoveries on the project over the long term, and we expect to continue more test work on a regular basis. We believe that the work we are doing and the lessons learnt in building this project will serve us well as we seek to expand the asset portfolio with the aim to broaden the Group’s critical mineral portfolio across Africa." 

Reasons to FOLLOW EM.P

Eastinco Mining & Exploration is an investment company established in 2012 to pursue the exploration, development, and trading of African industrial mineral assets. Eastinco is listed on the London Aquis exchange, with focus on tin, tungsten and tantalum mining in Africa.  

In its final results for FY2019, Eastinco said 2019 was a year of restructuring in its parent company, EME plc, and investment and development of initial operations in the group’s newly acquired Rwandan registered subsidiary company, Eastinco Limited ("EME Ltd").  

Eastinco said 2019 was a year of corporate restructuring where it developed a new operational direction. It now has a clear strategy to invest in small-scale producing and near-production assets’, which the group believes can produce near-term revenues.   

To achieve this goal, the Company made the required start-up investment in capital equipment to ready the site for operations in 2020 at the Kuaka Mine site in Rwanda.  

Since the end of FY19, Eastinco has continued with the development of its mechanised wash plant at the Kuaka mine site. The group recently completed the Kuaka site wash plant and are now in the process of commissioning the plant to optimise its productive capability.    

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