Aus Tin Mining Limited (ASX:ANW) CEO, Peter Williams provides an update on the company's activities for the March 2019 quarter.
Katrina Bullock: Hello Katrina Bullock for the Finance News Network and joining me from Aus Tin Mining Limited (ASX:ANW) is CEO, Peter Williams. Peter, welcome back.
Peter Williams: Thanks Katrina.
Katrina Bullock: Your March quarter has just wrapped up. Can you take us through some of the highlights please, starting with Granville?
Peter Williams: Granville in the last quarter was extremely busy, we had a number of key milestones. I guess notably in January, we completed the new tailings storage facility and that final major permit condition that we had to complete. So it took a long time, it was a bit frustrating and it was delayed, but we eventually got there in January. And then that basically allowed us to resume processing.
At the mining site, unfortunately the mining contractor went into liquidation and in part, that goes to explaining some of the delays that we incurred during 2018. But we’ve taken the opportunity to transition to owner mining. We’re currently pursing opportunities for operation and financial efficiencies associated with owner mining, including the recently announced Heads of Agreement to send some waste rock, to a nearby wind farm.
On a more positive note, mining for the first ore block in February was extremely good and very pleasing. We averaged 2.1 per cent tin, which was fabulous for an open cut. This material is actually mined from the hanging wall, which sits above the main ore zone, which is a skarn material. Just very recently, we’ve mined the first of the skarn material and that’s certainly come back with a very encouraging 1.8 per cent tin, across a 15-metre cross section. So the mining is looking very good.
We also recommenced processing in February, treating the hanging wall material from the mine, as well as treating and blending it in with some scats and tailings material. The hanging wall material, whilst high grade is a little more challenging from a metallurgical perspective, it’s got a lot of sulphides. But notwithstanding, we were able to produce far more concentrate and the first of that concentrate, was actually dispatched from site today, for the next shipment to Trackis.
So for this current quarter, the June quarter, we’re very much focused on ramping up mining and processing of our operations at Granville, particularly around the skarn ore. And looking forward to a commensurate increase in concentrate production.
Katrina Bullock: Can you take us through how the Taronga project is progressing?
Peter Williams: Taronga, we’ve been working with the Department of Planning and Environment to try and finalise the Mining Operations Plan, or the MOP. It seems to have taken sometime. We’ve been responding to a number of questions that the Department had and we’ve resubmitted the revised draft of the Mining Operations Plan. We’re hopeful that that will get resolved and finalised in the near term, which will allow us to commence mining.
Katrina Bullock: Can you give us an update on the Mt Cobalt Pembroke project?
Peter Williams: We’ve also been pretty busy at Pembroke in Mt Cobalt, the two projects. Pembroke, we completed our deepest hole yet, there was a 425-metre hole and from a technical perspective, we’ve observed a really good success. We got high grades, over one per cent nickel and we confirmed the presence of sulphides at depth well below that, which was previously drilled. I guess what was very interesting is that some of the pictographic work that we did, along with some of the geological logging that was done at site, would suggest that we’re in a halo zone. So it gives us some encouragement that where we’re drilling was just above the main mineralised zone.
At Mt Cobalt, we completed a program of five holes testing for sheer zones, which previously had been found to host the high-grade cobalt. We finished those holes and samples of those holes have been submitted, and we’re waiting on analysis for those.
Katrina Bullock: Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Peter Williams: Last quarter we took the opportunity to table some of the shareholders questions that we obtained through our info at Austinmining.com.au site. So what I’ve done, is our investor relations team have sort of collated the questions. I’ve got three questions which I think are representative across the question base and I thought I would take the opportunity to answer some of those.
We’ve had a couple of queries, where shareholders have sort of queried where we have got too much on our plate. I guess that’s an interesting thing for a junior to be potentially accused of having too much on our plate. But look, we’ve certainty been busy. We’ve got a small team here in Brisbane, there is two of us. The majority of the team are based at Granville. And we’ve certainly been working across all three projects, Granville, Taronga and Mt Cobalt. Noting that our shareholders, different shareholders have come into the different projects. That said, I think we will accept that Granville is key and is very much our primary focus.
You know the work that we’re doing at Taronga, is work that we’re basically doing using internal resources. That will change of course once we get our approvals and start mining. But for now, we’ve been doing that internally. And look the work at Mt Cobalt and Mt Pembroke, we think that’s really important and we’re certainty pleased with the results we’ve got so far. That said, exploration activity, we’ll pursue those, I guess based on the results from the initial work we’ve got. And probably at the back end of this year, for when we expect cashflows to be increasing out of Granville.
We’ve had a couple of questions regarding what resources, equipment is actually down at Granville. And I guess following the collapse of Jemrock, of the mine contractor, we’ve now purchased and or hired mining equipment and we’ve employed a team of operators to do the drilling and mining. We still outsource the blasting.
Jemrock had actually been contracted to do the crushing. Obviously when they collapsed all those discussions and negotiations that they’d been having with sub-contractors fell away. We quickly picked that up and are progressing that and are hopefully in the coming fortnight to finalise equipment selection and finalise contractual arrangements with contractors. So that will allow us to get in and start crushing skarn ore. At the plant they’ve got a small team of operators and we’ve got a processing plant that includes grinding, gravity and floatation.
Just finally on the questions, we had a couple of questions regarding production and concentrate sales. Well as I just alluded to before, the first concentrate for the next shipment has left site today. We are treating a combination of key-ore material plus skats and tailings. But as we transition into the skarn ore we expect that production rates for tin concentrate will increase.
Just the last thing I’ll take the opportunity to mention is that earlier this month, we announced a completion of the small placement and our intention to undertake an SPP. Some further details on the SPP have actually been released today, being Monday the 29 [April]. We’re going to use those funds primarily to progress Taronga Stage One. So once we’ve got our approvals, we want to be ready to hit the ground running, as far as time establishment and initial mining.
We think that it was priced at approximately 20 per cent discount to the market, at the time. So we think it’s an attractive pricing for the SPP, there will be a loyalty option associated with it. And we think that it’s a fabulous opportunity for existing shareholders to participate, and we look forward to their continued support.
Katrina Bullock: Peter Williams, thanks for the update and good luck with the next quarter.
Peter Williams: Thanks Katrina, appreciate that.