Cyprium Metals Limited (ASX:CYM) continues to progress the refurbishment of the Nifty Copper Project in Western Australia whilst the company is conducting a finance process for the restart the operation.
Nifty Restart Progress
Project finance remains the key focus for Cyprium. The pre-development work continued in parallel with the finance process, as it was intended to ensure that the Nifty site was ready at the go-line for when financing was completed, prior to the commencement of refurbishment and construction activities.
Much of the operational readiness activities have now been completed, so being prudent and minimising ongoing holding costs, the company has temporarily downsized its Nifty site workforce to approximately 20 personnel and contractors, in order to maintain the site in good order and reducing operating expenditure until the finance is completed. Consequently, a number of positions throughout the business have been made redundant.
The progress made by Nifty employees to date has been exceptional, with significant progress towards being operationally ready for the project kick off. The workforce is to be commended for their efforts and progress whilst the site has remaining on care and maintenance since its acquisition. This has also been achieved at Nifty over the past 14 months without a Lost Time Injury.
“The finance process to fund the Restart of the Nifty Copper Project continues with multiple parties,” Managing Director, Barry Cahill, said.
“To conserve funds, we have reduced personnel throughout the organisation until we complete the financing and commence the refurbishment schedule in earnest.
Our personnel have done an excellent job in getting Cyprium to the go line for when the finance process is completed and progress to date has been remarkable, as can be seen in the photos.
“Many people have told me that they would like to return to Nifty, if they are available, to build the project and plate copper. We look forward to welcoming them back to the Cyprium family.”
Work around the heap leach pads has involved trenching and drilling to obtain samples for assay and testing. Drainage has been re-established to direct leach solutions to the collection ponds and prevent overflowing during rain events. Access has also been re-established to the top of the heap for transport and placement of residue from the collection ponds.
The electrowinning (EW) clean-up has proceeded very well with stripping of anodes and cathodes from cells. Many cathodes still had copper attached which has been stripped and placed on pallets ready for sale. There are currently around 25 tonnes of copper cathode on pallets.
The tanks have been found to contain dropped anode and cathode as well as a dried copper sulphate solid at the base.
The anodes and cathodes have been palleted up for sale as they have recycling value for lead, stainless steel and copper. The dried solids have been collected for return to the circuit for when the refurbishment commissioning commences.
The site team have worked through a site clean-up programme covering a significant amount of material across the whole site. The useable items are catalogued through the stores system and relocated to a secure site. The process now involves sorting the required and excess stores (such as underground equipment and parts) and then sending the surplus material for sale. This process has commenced with equipment loaded into containers and being dispatched to Perth.
Scrap material has been collected and sorted by material type on the waste dump and a contractor is currently on-site sorting and taking scrap material away for recycling.
The on-site equipment and workshop areas have been cleaned up, serviced and bought back to standard. Equipment that could not be brought back to standard has been marked for disposal and if necessary, replaced.
Fixed infrastructure has been reviewed and assessed for refurbishment once the construction commences. Areas such as the camp accommodation (rooms and dry mess) being refurbished and significant data communications infrastructure upgrades to bring them up to standard ready for commencement of construction activities. The remaining rooms will be completed concurrently as the project ramps up. If the item does not require refurbishment, it has been cleaned up and serviced ready to go, such as the concrete batching plant.
Project Finance Update
The financing process has taken longer than we expected, however remains the key focus for Cyprium. The Financing process, which is targeting A$240 million to A$260 million debt funding package (including cost overrun contingency and working capital) for the financing of the Nifty restart and project costs, which is expected to comprise of senior secured financing, subordinated debt, and offtake financing.
Positive discussions and negotiation of terms with all parties are continuing.
For further information please visit: https://cypriummetals.com/