Kropz Plc has reached a major milestone with the first introduction of ore to the plant at the company’s Elandsfontein mine, located in the Western Cape in South Africa.

Now that ore has been introduced to the plant, the team is ensuring all the front-end circuits are balanced and running stably. The flotation circuits will then be commissioned and the reagents added in due course for the production of the first concentrate. Commissioning activities will transition into full scale ramp-up of the mining and beneficiation plant over the coming six months.

Mining activities commenced in October 2021, and significant volumes of ore are available to support the commissioning rampup.

CEO Mark Summers said, “The introduction of ore to the processing plant reflects the successful culmination of the construction phase and signals the commencement of the next chapter in the Company’s development. I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the tireless efforts of all of those involved in reaching this milestone safely and on time, despite the many challenges that the past two years have presented.”

Transnet approval

Transnet has provided the Kropz with a draft port access agreement to support the long-term export of Elandsfontein’s phosphate rock through the port of Saldanha. The contract is now being finalised between the parties. First phosphate rock ore exports from Elandsfontein are expected in Q1 2022.

It is anticipated that the imported reagents required for the recovery of phosphate concentrate will be delivered in December 2021, however, the supply chain situation remains a challenge, with the recent force majeure declared by Transnet Port Terminals in Cape Town on 21 December 2021, presenting further risk to the project. The Company is investigating options to off-load containers at alternative ports, and transport the commodities to the mine site by road to arrive in early January 2022.

The current and further potential effects of COVID-19, and the fourth wave of infections in South Africa remains a risk to successful completion of commissioning. The Kropz has mitigated this risk as far as reasonably practicable by compliance to the Kropz’s COVID-19 policies and procedures.

The company will provide further updates on the Elandsfontein project and further commissioning progress in due course.

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