Contango Holdings, a London-listed mining company, has completed the construction of the wash plant at its Lubu coking coal project in Zimbabwe.
The company reported that the refurbishment of the screen used to sort the coking coal prior to it being fed through the wash plant, is nearing completion and is expected to be delivered to the site in early April. Power to the wash plant and processing facilities is expected to be connected by mid-April. The concrete-lined recirculation and settlement ponds, along with the tailings control dam, are currently being lined with concrete prior to use.
Contango aims to undertake grade control drilling for eight days in early April to ensure optimal extraction and processing of the coking coal. Following this, the Wirtgen surface miner will restart operations and the extraction of coal.
Commenting on the developments, Contango CEO Carl Esprey stated: “We have continued to make…progress at site as we prepare for imminent first coking coal production and sales. Next month, we intend to activate our wash plant and commence the processing of coal ahead of subsequent sales under our existing offtake agreements”.
The Lubu coking coal project in Zimbabwe has resources of up to 680 million tonnes of coal of varying qualities, with high-quality coking coal representing the majority of the resource. Zimbabwe contributes less than 1% of global coking coal supplies, despite more than 33% of the world’s known coking coal reserves being located in the country. This recent development in the Lubu project reflects the company’s ongoing progress towards achieving its first coking coal production and sales, which would be significant for Zimbabwe’s mining industry, particularly in increasing the country’s position in the global coking coal supply.
Contango’s primary value driver is its 70% interest in the Lubu Coal Project in Zimbabwe – a high-value coking coal project due to deliver its first coking coal sales in Q2 2023.