Copper Mine in Namibia
The Kombat Mine is one of the most significant copper mines in Namibia. Mining operations originally commenced in 1962, producing until 2008, and with total output reaching 12.46 million tonnes of ore grading 2.6 percent copper on average.
The mine has over USD $100 million worth of usable infrastructure in place. That includes a 1,100 tonne/day mill, an 800 m shaft with two other vertical shafts, extensive underground workings, tailings facility, ramp systems, mine buildings and concentrator. Its close proximity to the port of Walvis Bay and to one of only five commercial-grade smelters in Africa (located in the town of Tsumeb) is an additional benefit to the project.
Despite a successful operation with all the necessary elements for continued success, operations were forced to shut down due to mismanagement and underground flooding in 2008.
Restarting the Kombat Mine
At the close of 2021, Trigon resumed production at Kombat Mine following 14 years of closure. The company will be ramping up to full production of 3,500 tonnes of copper in concentrate in 2022, with initial mining accessing ore from open pit sources. Planned production will increase to 14,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate in 2024, when higher grade underground ore begins to be recovered and as planned upgrades to crushing and milling are incorporated.
Trigon’s management team continues its work to bring Kombat Mine back to full production – safer and more successful than ever. As of today, the water level in the mine is drained to 100m, which was sufficient to restart the mine from open pit. High-efficiency pumps and proper backup systems are now focused on draining the remaining water ahead of returning to underground mining.
Bigger Resource. Stronger Project.
Trigon Metals has recently announced an updated NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimate at the Kombat Mine in Namibia. Combined open pit and underground Indicated Mineral Resources estimates have risen to 12.2 million tonnes at 1.94% copper, 13.65 g/t silver and 0.70% lead, as compared to the strictly open pit Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 7.35 million tonnes at 0.91% copper, 0.58g/t silver and 0.88% lead announced in 2020.
The indicated tonnage has increased 66% from the previous Mineral Resource estimates, with copper tonnage up 113% and silver 2,253%, resulting in a much larger production profile.
Dubbed “The Copper King Extension”, the licence covers an area of 5,614 hectares in the Grootfontein District of the Otjozondjupa Region, between the towns of Otavi to the west and Grootfontein to the east. It is situated on the Kombat trend, a mineralized structure that also hosts the Kombat project. This area represents a 35km of mineralized strike length, with various known mineral occurrences on the property.
Licences held by Trigon
The world will require more copper production to meet its growing demand. By expanding the Kombat resource, Trigon also expands potential production of the Kombat Mine. Consequently, positioning the company to become a mid-tier copper producer.
Geology And Mineralization
The Kombat Mine is located in the Otavi Mountainland on the Northern Platform Margin of the Damara Orogenic Belt. The Platform consists of a thick sequence of Otavi Group carbonates deposited upon Nosib and Basement rocks, during the late Proterozoic to early Phanerozoic periods (500-550 Million years ago).
The Kombat deposits are situated on the northern flank of the canoe-shaped Otavi Valley Syncline, a double-plunging syncline with the northern limb dipping at 20-75° to the south. The southern limb is overturned and also south-dipping. Copper, lead, and silver mineralized zones are focused along the northern limb of the syncline, generally steep and “pendant” from monoclinal flexures (“rolls”). In addition, metal concentrations increase in proximity to northeast striking faults and east-northeast penetrative deformation with shearing, net-vein fractures and jointing. Also, there are additional concentrations in breccias (hydraulic and sedimentary) and in areas of increased oolites/pisolites and strong calcitization.
Generally, alteration precedes ore deposition with de-colourizing of dolostone from the outward movement of argillaceous and carbonaceous inclusions, followed by bleaching and final calcitization and Mn alteration. Two hundred to 300 metre wide zones of calcitization flank ore lenses. Normally, with a fine to medium-grained, saccaroidal texture. Silicification is not as prominent as calcitization but contributes locally to mineralization (as noted in core). Fe-Mn is often associated with intense calcitization in areas proximal to ore and may also contribute to mineralization.
The country rock above the orebodies is sheared and fractured into “roll structures”. A relation between the orebodies and the feldspathic sandstone of the Kombat Formation is also indicated. In addition, the ore lenses abut against the contact and hang like pendants beneath the flexures as depicted in the figure above.
Orebodies are steep in orientation and transgressive to stratigraphy. With depth, the massive sulphides horsetail and merge into thready stringers until they become disseminated in calcitized ones of net-vein fractures.
The Kombat orebodies are interpreted to have formed as a result of the release of both CO2 and CH4 from the Mulden shales. This converted the anhydrite (in the dolostones) to calcite releasing SO4 into the brines. The CO2 and S reacted with downward migrating oxidizing groundwater producing sulphuric acid that ate its way up through the last four hundred metres of the rotated fold-thrust fracture systems in the carbonates, forming a hypogene karst system. Unconsolidated sand was subsequently forced through the fracture system forming sandstones.
Gross Otavi Licence
The Gross Otavi mining licence is located approximately 10 km to the west of Kombat Mine and on the same Kombat Mineralized Trend. Mining operations took place at Gross Otavi until the 1940s and the area is highly prospective for not only silver and copper but also lead, zinc and vanadium.
Trigon Metals plans to re-evaluate the potential of the Gross Otavi deposit using existing information as well as additional work as required.
The Ovambo people have been smelting copper from surface deposits near Otavi for generations. When European settlers witnessed this practice in 1851, they went on to establish the first commercial mining activities in the Walvis Bay area in 1855. Up to the present time, copper and other base metals were mined and smelted at Tsumeb.
Commitment to Namibia
The Ovambo people have been smelting copper from surface deposits near Otavi for generations.
When European settlers witnessed this practice in 1851, they went on to establish the first commercial mining activities in the Walvis Bay area in 1855. Up to the present time, copper and other base metals were mined and smelted at Tsumeb.
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