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Vast Resources plc / Ticker: VAST / Index: AIM / Sector: Mining
31 January 2022
Vast Resources plc
(‘Vast’ or the ‘Company’)
Baita Plai Update & Q4 2021 Production Report
Vast Resources plc, the AIM-listed mining company is pleased to announce an update on its producing Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine (‘Baita Plai’) in Romania
The Company is pleased to report that Q4 2021 has shown an increase of 88% in ore tonnes milled from the start to the end of the quarter. This is primarily a result of a second Sub-Level accessing the Antonio Skarn implemented in early November. Copper concentrate production increased by 62% from the start to the end of the quarter. Volumes at the start of the quarter were lower given the previously reported issues at Baita Plai but the Company is pleased with the progress made in the quarter.
Underground development remains a key focus for the Company and in addition to the second ramp access, ramp access for the third Sub-Level (‘Sub-Level 3’) has commenced and is planned for completion mid-Q1 2022. Further development will be fast tracked with the arrival of two Mantis CMR4 Jumbo drilling rigs expected on site in Q1 2022. The productivity and efficiency increases expected from utilising these rigs are twofold, firstly, the drilling and support labour can be decreased by up to 50% and secondly, the length of the drilled hole increases from approximately 1.20 metres to up to 2.10 metres, allowing for greater advance per blast.
Upon completion of the Sub-Level 3 access ramp, some minor development work is required before the first Long Hole Stope (‘LHP’) is brought into production. The first LHP is earmarked for Q2 2022 and will provide a substantial increase in the ore tonnes mined and sent to the mill. Currently, underground support patterns are being designed based on geotechnical studies of the host rock and mineralised skarn body taking into consideration the envisaged mining method. This work is being undertaken by external technical consultants.
In addition to the Antonio Skarn, underground investigations are taking place to examine the feasibility of exploiting resource blocks demarcated by the historical mineral resource listing on the upper levels, specifically on levels 10 and 13. This will alleviate production pressure from the Antonio Skarn and provide additional feed to the mills.
The external technical consultants are also providing recommendations to modernise and automate the processing plant where applicable. It has been highlighted that the Molybdenum (‘Mo’) content sent to the plant warrants a small flotation circuit to exploit the Mo. During Q4 2021, 12 x 0.8m3 flotation cells were refurbished and are in the process of being installed in the circuit. This should allow for production of between 1.0 – 5.0 tonnes of a 50% Mo concentrate per month, feed grade dependant. The Mo flotation circuit is expected to be complete in early Q2 2022.
Currently, the Company has numerous recommendations for optimisation of the crushing circuit in order to improve the mill throughput and ultimately the recovery of the full suite of metals in the flotation or gravity separation circuits. The external technical consultants have qualified personnel on site assisting with the implementation of these various initiatives.
Underground production labour is increasing in line with the increase in production as a result of the successful implementation of the mining school, as announced on 25 October 2021. With labour requirements for handheld manual equipment, however, the graduation of the students cannot keep pace with the demand of ore production and development requirements and so the arrival of the two Mantis CMR4 Jumbo drilling rigs will allow for the execution of the mine plan as originally envisaged.
Baita Plai production figures and sales volumes for the period covering October 2021 – December 2021 are outlined in Figure 1 below:
Dry Metric Tonnes
~Wet Metric Tonnes
Total Ore Mined
Total Milled (Ore Feed)
Cu Conc sold
Cu conc inventory at 31/12/2021
The term “Wet Metric Tonnes" is usually quoted in terms of production for shipping terms and “Dry Metric Tonnes” refers to the tonnage minus humidity to determine the sales price.
The period reported herein is the calendar Q4 figure for 2021. As the Company moves towards ramping up production, introducing new equipment and adding new concentrates to the production, the Company would like to announce that the previous forecast guidance given to the market, most recently in an announcement of 25 October 2021, will be superseded by the new regular quarterly reporting in line with normal corporate reporting procedures and such previously notified guidance should now be ignored.
There has been a small volume of zinc concentrate production however not sufficient to make a commercial sale and there has been no lead production. Details of production in addition to copper concentrate will be detailed in future production reports.
The forward-looking technical views made in this announcement is based on information interpreted by Mr Craig Harvey, the Group Geologist for Vast and a full-time employee of the company. Mr Harvey is a Competent Person who is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and of the Geological Society of South Africa, a Recognised Professional Organisation included in a list that is posted on the ASX website from time to time.
Mr Harvey has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'.
This announcement contains 'forward-looking statements' concerning the Company that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Generally, the words 'will', 'may', 'should', 'continue', 'believes', 'targets', 'plans', 'expects', 'aims', 'intends', 'anticipates' or similar expressions or negatives thereof identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond the Company's ability to control or estimate precisely. The Company cannot give any assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to have been correct. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this announcement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any of the forward-looking statements set out herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.
For further information, visit www.vastplc.com or please contact:
Vast Resources plc
Beaumont Cornish – Financial & Nominated Advisor
Shore Capital Stockbrokers Limited – Joint Broker
Axis Capital Markets Limited – Joint Broker
St Brides Partners Limited
ABOUT VAST RESOURCES PLC
Vast Resources plc is a United Kingdom AIM listed mining company with mines and projects in Romania and Zimbabwe.
In Romania, the Company is focused on the rapid advancement of high-quality projects by recommencing production at previously producing mines.
The Company's Romanian portfolio includes 100% interest in the producing Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine, located in the Apuseni Mountains, Transylvania, an area which hosts Romania's largest polymetallic mines. The mine has a JORC compliant Reserve & Resource Report which underpins the initial mine production life of approximately 3-4 years with an in-situ total mineral resource of 15,695 tonnes copper equivalent with a further 1.8M-3M tonnes exploration target. The Company is now working on confirming an enlarged exploration target of up to 5.8M tonnes.
The Company also owns the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Romania, which was commissioned in 2015, currently on care and maintenance. The Company has been granted the Manaila Carlibaba Extended Exploitation Licence that will allow the Company to re-examine the exploitation of the mineral resources within the larger Manaila Carlibaba licence area.
In Zimbabwe, the Company is focused on the commencement of the joint venture mining agreement on the Community Diamond Concession, Chiadzwa, in the Marange Diamond Fields.