Frontier breaks ground at Kazakhstan copper project

June 24. Mining Weekly. JOHANNESBURG

By Loni Prinsloo

Frontier breaks ground at Kazakhstan copper projectKazakhstan-focused gold and copper exploration and development company Frontier Mining announced on Thursday that its joint-venture company KazCopper, had started construction of an openpit mine at its Benkala copper project.

Frontier CEO Erlan Sagadiev said that the development of its flagship Benkala mine was now well under way. “After many years of hard work by the team at KazCopper, we are delighted that mine pit construction has now begun and that we are in a position where we can see the finish line.”

The Aim-listed company had received technical and regional authority to remove a total of three-million cubic metres of ground in 2010 and had already begun initial stripping.

Sagadiev explained that extraction would be performed by three hydraulic excavators and that materials would be transported by 45 t Belaz trucks.

Waste rock would be stored in a dump located 1,5-km from the pit and the ore stockpile would be located next to the processing facilities which were now under construction about 1,5-km from the pit.

Further, Frontier had also completed construction of one electrical power line to the site in 2009 and a second line was scheduled for completion in 2010.

Sagadiev said that the company’s 6 000-m, 54 hole-drilling programme and initial assay results continued to confirm prior resource base estimates

Further confirmation testing was scheduled for the second half of the year, and Frontier said that it remained on-track to complete the Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource estimate by year-end.

The company is targeting initial production at Benkala in the first half of 2011.