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Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO

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The Kombat mine last year when WhyAfrica visited the copper project last year during our 2022 Road Trip through Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO

Underground mining at the historic Kombat copper mine, close to Grootfontein in Namibia, will get underway early in 2024. The mine started dewatering the flooded shaft in September this year.

TSX listed Trigon Metals has revived the beleaguered Kombat copper project and the mine looks set to overcome the numerous challenges that has plagued development at Kombat.

According to Jed Richardson, Trigon President and CEO, dewatering the underground mine began in September 2023. Richardson says that water levels have decreased 157m in the first month of pumping and that the company is on track to have the shaft fully dewatered by year-end. This will allow for mining to begin in the first half of 2024.

In July and August 2023, Trigon installed two powerful (2.5MW) submersible pumps in the main shaft at Asis West, together with 7.2 MW of emergency backup generators to ensure uninterrupted power.

The water pumped out of the mine is potable and piped into an open canal that feeds reservoirs near Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. An extensive hydrogeology study was completed to understand water related to the mine. The pumps have the capacity to remove more than 2,000 cubic metres per hour, sufficiently more than the total inflow when the mine is completely drained.

Expanding throughput (Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO)

“Now that open pit mining has achieved commercial production, processing 1,000 tonnes per day of ore and shipping 250 tonnes of concentrate a week. It is important to understand work is well underway to expand the mill’s throughput and commence mining from the underground, leading to a tripling of production profile while lowering production costs and amplifying profitability,” says Richardson.

The mining fleet for underground mining is expected to begin to arrive in December 2023, providing sufficient time to prepare stopes and train staff before the planned start-up.

Delivering sustainable benefits (Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO)

According to Trigon investor and local partner, Knowledge Katti, the Kombat mine is a very important project for Namibia, especially the children from the Kombat community.

Once in full production, Trigon Namibia will deliver sustainable benefits for years to come, including an expected minimum of 800 direct jobs. The supporting shareholders are all working together as a partnership to deliver positive outcomes for all our stakeholders.

The project has already been instrumental in supplying underground water to the Namibian national water company. We anticipate this partnership continuing for the foreseeable future since we upgraded our infrastructure to be able to pump more water to the Omatako Dam,” says Katti.

WhyAfrica visited the Kombat project during our 2022 WhyAfrica Road Trip through South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zmbabwe

Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO


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 Kombat’s underground mine will be dewatered by year-end says CEO

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management