MAURITANIA – This small country in the Western Sahara desert is home to the Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine that recently reached commercial production. Developed and owned 80% by Vancouver-based FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS, the open pit mine and mill are located 250 km northeast of the capital, Nouakchott.
The mill is producing 1,650 tonnes of copper in concentrate per month instead of the 2,500 t as per design. The shortfall is due to a delay in commissioning the No.1 SAG mill until a replacement pinion can be obtained. Gold output is 2,800 oz per month, or roughly half of design capacity. That number will increase with the commissioning of the SAG mill and a carbon-in-leach circuit.
First Quantum has built the project without an NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate. The historical figure is 23.7 million tonnes at 1.88% Cu and 1.41 g/t Au. A compliant estimate is expected in the first quarter of 2007. Check at www.First-Quantum.com when it becomes available.