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Following on from the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study in 2012, Bannerman announced on 8 April 2014 the progression to a heap leach demonstration plant program as an integral step in progress towards the project’s detailed engineering and financing phases. The program is specifically aimed at:

  • Demonstrating the design and projected performance reflected in the DFS,
  • Further enhancing project knowledge, and
  • Pursuing value engineering.

On 22 September 2014 Bannerman announced award of the major contracts to construct and operate the Etango Heap Leach Demonstration Plant. Activities at the site commenced in early October, with completion of the construction and official opening on 24 March 2015.

The demonstration program schedule and objectives are summarised in the Table below:

Phase Objective(s) Activities Schedule
1.Commissioning Commissioning of Plant.Validate leaching assumptions in DFS. Open cycle operation of all cribs and columns.Identify issues and correct plant and operating procedures as required. June 2015 Quarter (Completed)
2. Heap Leaching Demonstrate consistent operation of plant. Validate leaching assumptions in DFS. Operate 2 cribs and 4 columns.Utilize same blended sample in both cribs. September 2015 Quarter (Completed)
3. Solution Recycle Simulate the heap leach pad cycle to generate Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS). Assess the possible impacts of the build-up of deleterious elements emanating from the recycling of solution. Operate three cribs in closed cycle.Analyse the possible build-up of deleterious elements.Generate and store sufficient PLS to enable the validation of SX assumptions in Phase 4. December 2015 Quarter (Completed)
4. Solvent Extraction & Value Engineering Demonstrate the solvent extraction process and assumptions in the DFS. Conduct optimisation studies. Operate SX plant in laboratory in Swakopmund.Primarily utilize 8 columns to evaluate various opportunities to improve the project economics. March 2016 Quarter
5. Value Engineering Conduct optimisation studies Primarily utilize 8 columns to evaluate various opportunities to improve the project economics. June 2016 Quarter