The stars appear to be aligning perfectly for Weatherly’s Tschudi operation with the copper miner recently announcing that commercial production status had been achieved. Tschudi is also expected to reach design capacity in the December quarter while low-cost expansion opportunities were recently discovered.
Tschudi will also have a new man at the helm with former Reptile Uranium Namibia Managing Director, Peter Christians, expected to start in December. Commenting on Tschudi’s good run of fortune was Weatherly plc Chief Executive Officer, Craig Thomas. “The ramp up at Tschudi continues ahead of schedule, and by year end we will be running at design capacity. We are delighted to welcome Peter Christians to Weatherly as General Manager for Tschudi, and one of Peter’s first tasks will be to evaluate opportunities to expand production rates there.”
Having operated in excess of 80% of design capacity for a full quarter, Weatherly confirmed that Commercial Production status had been achieved at Tschudi and from 1 October onwards revenue and operating costs at Tschudi will no longer be capitalised.
Weatherly is currently updating resource and reserve estimations for Tschudi as of 30 June 2015. These estimates will be combined with all mining and processing experience gained to that date in order to produce updated mining and processing schedules. This work will be complete in November. Revised resources and reserves, together with internal estimates for life-of-mine operating and capital costs are expected to be announced shortly thereafter Weatherly said in a statement.
During the operational ramp-up, the Company has had the opportunity to stress test various parts of the Tschudi Heap Leach SX-EW plant and to gather large quantities of performance data on the heap leach and plant performance. Weatherly has determined that the infrastructure could be upgraded from a capacity of 17,000 tonnes to 20,000 tonnes of copper cathode per annum via capital expenditure of US$1.2 million.