Jan. 30 -- Gippland Limited announced that its Abu Dabbab alluvial tin project in Egypt is on schedule to begin production in March 2012. The short life project is based on mining of the Wadi Quaria placer deposit and is adjacent to a much larger open pit tantalum-tin project planned by the company. The alluvial project is funded internally by the company.
The plan is to mine around 246,000m3 of alluvial ore over 17 months, which will produce around 550 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate in total. Around 400t will be in 2012, with the balance in 2013, according to mine schedules released by Gippsland last October. The overall grade of the ore is 1.74 kg/m3 Sn, though the ore will be screened and upgraded prior to processing. Mining has been contracted out to Orbit Star Contracting with commissioning due to take place from mid-February to the end of March. Gippland said negotiations with a custom smelter to treat the concentrates were underway.
In a Bankable Feasibility Study updated last year, the planned capacity of the main Abu Dabbab project to be run by Tantalum Egypt (a 50:50 joint venture with the Egyptian government) is some 2,200 tpy of tin metal over a 14 year mine life, with 925,000 pounds of tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) a year recovered in slag.