The DFS, which was prepared by South Africa-based advisory company Minxcon, confirms the feasibility of expanding the current Phase 1 processing plant from 720t/y of tin concentrate to 1,200t/y, which is a 67% increase.
The DFS proposes enhancements to the current processing plant to increase ore throughput by 50% and increase overall tin recovery from 60% to 64%. The capital cost estimate for the project is US$5.7 million.
The detailed upgrades include: the addition of a crusher and screen between the primary jaw crusher and the fines crushing section; the addition of a buffer stockpile between the crushing and concentrating sections; increasing the water rejection capacity in the dense medium separation (DMS) 1 section; combining the dense medium circuits of DMS 2 and DMS 3 to improve operability and stability; converting the DMS 2 floats re-crush circuit to a closed circuit through the addition of a classification screen; adding additional spirals to re-process middlings; the relocation of product handling infrastructure; and the installation of an additional shaking table for improved processing capacity. The existing shaking tables will be replaced with Holman tables for higher separation efficiency.
The study also confirmed sufficient supply capacity of existing bulk infrastructure services for the planned expansion of the operation. This includes the installed capacity of the electrical grid power connection and associated supply agreement, and the groundwater network supply capacity.
It modelled a project execution plan of eight months, which includes a two-week total plant shutdown. However, production will otherwise continue during the implementation period, minimising production interruptions.
AfriTin Mining plans to make use of in-house engineering and management capabilities, as well as established contractor and vendor relationships. It will also appoint a skilled and experienced project management and construction management team to reduce implementation time and limit project implementation risks.
Anthony Viljoen, CEO of AfriTin Mining, commented: "Publication of AfriTin's inaugural definitive feasibility study marks another significant milestone for the company and will lead to the completion of the first phase of development of what could potentially be the biggest open cast tin and technology metal deposits in the world.
"The DFS confirms the highly attractive economics from a low-cost modular expansion of the current Phase 1 at Uis which can be implemented in eight months. The DFS also coincides with the company achieving its first full quarter of steady state production at the Phase 1 plant as a global tin prices reach a 10-year high."
AfriTin Mining acquired the ML134 mining licence incorporating Uis in 2017. AfriTin has an attributable ownership of 85% in the Uis tin mine, with the remaining 15% owned by the Small Miners of Uis (SMU). The company achieved nameplate production of tin concentrate from the pilot plant at Uis in November 2020.
Uis employs conventional open-pit mining techniques consisting of drilling, blasting, loading and hauling. Loading and hauling pairs 50t and 37t class hydraulic excavators with 30t articulated dump trucks. Mining benches are blasted in 10m vertical increments and loaded in 2.5m flitches, allowing for selective mining on the contact between ore and waste material.