Trigon Metals, a Canadian exploration and development company, has produced the first copper concentrates from the Kombat project in the Otavi Mountainlands in Namibia.

The company had restarted mining operations at the project in October 2021, 14 years after its closure.

During the fag end of December 2021, Trigon Metals had wrapped up the installation of filter presses and had run ore through the full production process.

According to Trigon Metals, the feed material for the initial production was sub optimal lower grade ore.

The company added that while grind size, use of reagent and residence times are being optimised, the copper grades were satisfactory as they approached 20% copper and more than 600 g/t silver.

Trigon Metals president and CEO Jed Richardson said: “This first production is a tremendous milestone for the Company, the Kombat community and our shareholders. Successful concentration of copper represents a major de-risking of the mine.

“A functioning mill is the primary technical hurdle in a mine’s operation, and that hurdle has been overcome at Kombat.”

The Canadian firm expects to declare full commercial production at the Kombat copper project in March 2022, once the optimisation of mine production ramps up and systems are completed.

Trigon Metals plans to ramp up production at the mine to 14,500 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2024 after the recovery of higher grade underground begins apart from incorporating the planned upgrades to crushing and milling.

The company said that production continues to take place at the Kombat copper project and the first concentrate shipments are scheduled towards the end of this month.

The Kombat copper project is made up of three mining licences, which had yielded nearly 12.46 million tonnes of copper from 1962 to 2008, at a grade of 2.62%.