With commissioning of the refurbished crushing plant completed at the Kainantu project in Papua New Guinea, K92 Mining has signed an offtake agreement for gold, silver and copper contained in concentrate produced at the mine.

The offtake agreement with Interalloys Trading Limited (ITL) covers the first three years of concentrate production. It follows extensive negotiations with a number of potential offtakers and while the commercial terms remain confidential between K92 and ITL, the company is confident that the terms are extremely competitive.

On site, the crushing plant achieved an estimated throughput of 95 tonnes per hour during load commissioning indicating significant excess capacity in comparison to the planned milling rate of 25 tonnes.

All major components of the plant including the jaw and cone crushers, conveyors and vibrating screen operated within acceptable parameters. K92 said that subject to the completion of usual minor punch list items, the crusher was now considered fully operational.

Additionally, water commissioning of the mill and flotation circuit has also been undertaken. This included operation of the major equipment items in this section, including major pumps, float cell agitators, conditioners and compressor.

The focus is now on addressing punch list items in this area, commissioning of the process control system and associated instrumentation and the load commissioning of the ball mill.

At the mine K92 has completed remedial work on the main mine access (Muck Bay 9) on schedule, allowing full access to the upper working levels.

There are about 150 employees and contractors on site involved in the refurbishment and rehabilitation work and moving the company towards the restart of operations.

K92 chief operating officer John Lewins said, “Our mine restart program is progressing well. We have put together a very strong site based management team which has not only has extensive experience in the development and operation of gold deposits similar to Irumafimpa and Kora, but also has collective experience of in excess of 100 years in the PNG mining industry.

“The remedial work on our 800 Portal and incline, the main entry and exit point for Irumafimpa Mine, is well in hand with safe access to the upper working levels being achieved, ventilation re-established and the mobile equipment necessary for the restart now on site or in transit.

With the installation of the new drum scrubber, which has arrived on site, the crusher throughput rate is expected to be further increased.

“We are also aware from historical records that the mill and flotation sections have operated for sustained periods at tonnages in excess of 30 tonnes per hour and that even at this rate, the mill was still not drawing full power.

“In addition we believe that the flotation circuit also has spare capacity as it was designed to treat grades of greater than 20 grams/tonne gold.

This indicates that the process plant has potential annual capacity in excess of 250,000 tonnes, which obviously provides significant upside potential from a future production perspective.”