Vast Resources has signed a long-term offtake agreement with Switzerland-based trading group Transamine Trading for all concentrates produced at its Manaila polymetallic mine in Romania, the UK-listed miner said Tuesday.
The first concentrate sale under the terms of the offtake agreement — but ahead of the offtake agreement being entered into — was on September 2 for a total of 430 mt of copper concentrate grading 18.7% Cu, Vast said.
“The steady-state Cu concentrate now being achieved post the plant optimisation is grading 20% Cu,” Vast said, adding that this grade is considered to be the optimum copper content for the Manaila mine copper concentrate.
Vast Resources owns a 50.1% interest in the Sinarom Mining Group, which owns the Manaila mine in northern Romania where economic mineralization is comprised of copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.
Total estimated mineral resources comprise 1.8 million mt in situ of lead at 0.95%, zinc at 1.86%, copper at 1.17%, gold at 0.63 g/mt and silver at 45.97 g/mt.
Production at the mine began in August 2015. The first open-pit phase of the mine has a projected life of mine of three years at a mining rate of 10,000 mt/month, with “significant” further upside, the company said.
Phases two and three are currently planned to be underground mines, although further detailed work may reveal that an open-pit mine is feasible on portions of the Phase 2 or Phase 3 orebody, Vast said.
The terms and conditions of the offtake agreement, which is valid until December 2017, “dictate the offtake pricing dependent on the quality of the concentrate and are in line with industry standards with favourable payment terms to reduce Vast’s working capital constraints,” it said.
The company plans to commission a second float line to separate the zinc, which “will provide MPM with two saleable concentrates, thereby maximising the potential revenues at the operation, with initial test work suggesting that grades of 20% copper and 50% zinc are possible for each respective concentrate,” said CEO Roy Pitchford in a statement.