Altiplano Metals Inc. [APN-TSXV, A2JNFG] is gearing up for the full operation of a new processing facility at its 100%-owned Farellon iron oxide-copper-gold mine near La Serena, Chile.
â€œIt is exciting to see the final stages of the processing facility coming together with most of the major engineering tasks completed,â€™â€™ said Altiplano President and CEO Alastair McIntyre. â€œThe final connections and test runs soon to be completed prepares us for full operation this quarter,â€™â€™ he said.
â€œEl Penon output will be well timed to leverage the current strong metals price environment.
Altiplano is a growing gold, silver, and copper company with a focus on the Americas.
Farellon is located near the town of La Serena, Chile, approximately a one-hour flight north of the Chilean capital, Santiago.
Acquired in 2017, Farellon is an iron oxide copper gold mineralized system, currently being developed and explored from an underground decline and drift system.
Altiplano has been extracting ore at Farellon since the first quarter of 2018, resulting in the processing of greater than 105,000 tonnes of mineralized copper-gold material at a grade of approximately 1.74%. The company has said the processing of this material has generated US$7.98 million from the recovery and sale of 3.86 million pounds of copper.
Material extracted from the site has previously been processed off-site where proceeds generated from the sale of copper material have generated cash which has then been used to support operations, purchase equipment and further development underground.
The decision to commence production at the Farellon deposit is not based on a feasibility study of mineral reserves that would normally demonstrate economic and technical viability.
However, the company obtained permit approval to construct and install a copper-gold flotation, iron magnetic separation and a dewatering process in September, 2021. Final completion of the 5,000-tonnes-per-month processing facility was expected by the first quarter of 2022.
On Tuesday, the company said the first shipments of stock-piled material from the Farellon Mine have begun, in anticipation of completion of the processing facility. The company said 1,440 tonnes will be moved to the new processing site over a two-week period. To date, 400 tonnes have been received at the plant site.
This material contains an estimated 1.1% copper and 40% iron, which will be used as a test feed to begin the processing circuit.
Next steps include a test run of the copper-gold flotation circuit with the stock-piled low-grade material recently shipped to the site. The first test copper-gold concentrate is expected to be produced by early May, 2022, the company said.
On April 4, Altiplano shares rose 3.1% or $0.01 to 33 cents in light trading and now trade in a 52-week range of 50 cents and 22.5 cents.