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ASX-listed Zambia-focused manganese company Kaboko Mining has advised that initial blasting has been completed at northern Zambian manganese project at Mansa.

The company explained that the recently completed scoping study and mine plan have been integral in the development, operating programme and subsequent commencement of mining activity on site, adding that this represents a major milestone towards first production of high grade manganese ore from the project.

Following site preparation and clearing of over-burden, mining operations have commenced at the Mansa project. Blasting has commenced on site to expose the high grade manganese reef, including completion of initial blasts to test the new Autostem style explosives used. The technology itself, apart from being much safer, allows the company better contamination control over blasted product which is ideal for mineralisation structure at the Mansa project, Kaboko said in a statement.

The commencement of mining operations is an important step towards an initial trial shipment and commencement of production this quarter. The company is on track to finalise a shipment of approximately 2 000 t of high grade manganese product from the mine in June 2013.

Kaboko advised that it is still waiting to take delivery of a primary crusher (and associated parts) shipped from China, receipt of which will significantly increase its ability to meet planned production.

Meanwhile, Kaboko welcomed Lyapa Manza, the newly appointed mine manager on site at the Mansa project as part of the operational team. Manza is a Zambian local with a bachelor of Mineral Sciences degree in Mining Engineering, an MBA qualification, and has over 20 years’ experience in mining and project management across international, private and public mining companies as well as government organisations.

Manza’s more recent roles include being mine manager and GM of Kariba Minerals, a Gemfields mining operation and senior manager of Asia Minerals, an international manganese company.

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