Canada-based Trigon Metals said it has begun operations at its Kombat copper mine in Namibia after a 14-year closure.
Trigon expects Kombat to produce 4,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate in 2022. The company plans to produce 14,500t in 2024 by adding an underground mine.
Trigon increased the estimate for Kombat's total resources by 456% last year. The resource is now estimated to contain 18 million tonnes at more than 1% copper in an openpit mine, with 20Mt underground at a grade of 2.86%.
According to a 2018 feasibility study, restarting the mine cost US$6.4m, which included US$4.7m for plant refurbishment. Restarting the mine and plant yielded a post-tax Investor Rate of Return of 103.4%.
Trigon received a three-year environmental permit for the mine in July, with its mining license renewed in June for ten years.
Kombat produced 12.5 million tonnes of copper between 1968-2008 at a grade of 2.6%. The mine was put into care and maintenance in 2008 due to the global financial crisis.
Trigon owns 80% of the Kombat project. Trigon also holds licenses for nearby Gross Otavi and Harasib prospects, which may contain lead and zinc. The company holds an interest in two exclusive prospecting licenses, which may enable strike extensions at Kombat.
Trigon also owns the Silver Hill copper-silver project in Morocco, acquired in 2021.