The miner said the newly finished pit had given it about 6,100 tonnes of ore at zinc and lead gradings of 13.4% and 10.7%, respectively (now stockpiled). That includes ultra-high-grade ore production of 2,100t at 24.% zinc and 18.3% lead.
The pit was previously expected and designed to recover 1,000t before moving its work underground.
Azure confirmed that, due to a refurbishment programme, the wet commissioning of the toll treatment processing plant had been delayed, but had now commenced. It is now eyeing the December quarter for a start to ore throughput.
The plan for Oposura is to produce separate streams of zinc and lead-silver concentrates; once mined and readied, they will be sold on the spot market to locally based metals traders or smelters.
Deliveries will allow the cash flow to move the project into a definitive feasibility study phase in hopes of advancing into a large-scale mining and on-site processing operation, the miner added.
"This has been a very impressive start to our small-scale mining programme," Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said. "To be getting more tonnes and much higher grades than we had expected gives us great confidence in the project as we advance Oposura toward large-scale mining and on-site processing."
First full-scale production at Oposura is expected in early to mid-2021.