- 50.1% interest in the Manaila Polymetallic Mine, northern Romania
- Production commenced 14 August 2015 – four weeks after Vast assumed operating control
- Total JORC Compliant Mineral Resources of:
- Open Pit: (Indicated & Inferred) of 2.6Mt at a grade of 1.0% copper (‘Cu’), 0.4% lead (‘Pb’) and 0.9% zinc (‘Zn’) at a 0.25% Cu cut-off
- Underground: (Indicated & Inferred) of 310,000t at a grade of 1.7% Cu, 0.4% Pb and 0.5% Zn at a 1.00% Cu cut-off
- Exploration Target defined for:
- Open pit: 4.45Mt-11.88Mt with grades up to 2.3% Cu, 0.5% Pb and 1.1% Zn
- Underground: 5.92Mt-15.78Mt with grades up to 2.6% Cu, 2.0% Pb and 2.6% Zn
- Phase 1, open pit, has a projected life of mine of three years at a mining rate of 10,000 tonnes per month, with significant further upside
- Phase 2 and Phase 3 operations are currently planned to be underground mines – further detailed work may reveal that an open pit mine is feasible on portions of the Phase 2 or Phase 3 ore body
Vast Resources owns a 50.1% interest in the Sinarom Mining Group SRL, which owns the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Suceava County, northern Romania where economic mineralisation is comprised of copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver. The mine is located 26km from the town of Iacobeni, where the project’s processing plant is located. Infrastructure at the plant consists of crushing, milling and flotation circuits that produce copper, lead and zinc, with gold and silver credits.
Manaila historically produced a 13% copper concentrate and a 3g/t gold concentrate, with excessive zinc content that resulted in penalties and therefore low prices per tonne of concentrate. Since taking operational control, Vast has successfully improved the quality of the copper concentrate in addition to commissioning a separate zinc concentrate line, creating a second revenue stream. Work is now underway to generate a third revenue stream through a gold / silver concentrate.
Achievements made to date include:
- Improvements to the quality of the copper concentrate through the increased recovery of the contained copper in the ore;
- Increasing the quantity of copper concentrate via a higher mass pull per tonne of ore processed;
- Removal of the high levels of zinc to avoid the contamination penalty;
- Commencement of production of a separate zinc concentrate to provide the Company with a second income stream;
- Refurbishment of all the processing facilities at Iacobeni, the metallurgical plant, now has two operational mills, three operational flotation circuits, and a test flotation circuit to evaluate processes and chemicals to improve the quality and quantity of the concentrates;
- Successful implementation of reprocessing of tailings from previous operations;
- Successful recovery of gold and silver from current tailings that will provide the mine with a third income stream when the new plant is installed;
- Granting of a twenty-fold increase in the potential mining area through the award of a large prospecting licence area;
- Upgrade to the resources and reserves to comply with the JORC reporting standard and increasing the open-cut mine life from eighteen months to sixty months;
- Significant reduction in the monthly transportation costs through outsourcing of ore and waste haulage to a specialist transport company.
Aside from further planned operational improvements at Manaila, Vast is currently exploring the potential to establish a new, larger Manaila Metallurgical Complex (“MMC”) at Manaila or at the adjacent Carlibaba Manaila Extension, which is a possible site of a future open cast mine and new metallurgical processing facility. In December 2016 the Company acquired two new assets, Piciorul Zimbrului and Magura Neagra, which are proximal to Manaila (located 19km and 47km away respectively) and Vast intends to explore the new licences with a view to developing the deposits into future sources of ore. At Piciorul Zimbrului a total of six veins with associated copper and gold mineralisation of approximately 820m in length have been identified, whilst work at Magura Neagra indicates the possible presence of a porphyry copper type mineralising system together with mineralised veins containing gold, silver, molybdenum, lead and zinc.