Shares in the company are likely to be firmer on this key milestone.
Deliveries of saleable product to the Port of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, are continuing with over 16,000 wet metric tonnes delivered, following successful testing of trucking logistics from mine to port.
"The loading of the maiden shipment from our Perkoa mine marks a very important milestone for the project, Blackthorn Resources and our joint venture partners. We are also looking forward to continuing ramp up at the mine," Blackthorn's outgoing managing director Scott Lowe said.
The second ball mill is in transit to the mine while discussions are continuing with Glencore to resolve funding options.
Perkoa base metals project
Ore throughput and concentrate quality have been in-line with design specifications for a single ball mill operation, which has milled 375000 tonnes of ore year to date, with a zinc feed grade of 5.44%, largely from the open pit.
Zinc recovery for September was 95% with a concentrate grade of approximately 50% zinc.
The second ball mill is in transit to Perkoa, however delivery has been delayed; revised installation and commissioning target dates will be communicated to market once an updated schedule has been received from Glencore Xstrata.
This will allow production to ramp up to its name plate capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum.
Mining operations performed in-line with targets in September 2013 with underground output now including ore being mined from stopes.
Blackthorne remains in discussions with Glencore to identify optimum funding options to increase production at Perkoa.
The company has a 27.3% interest in the project.
The maiden shipment of zinc concentrate from the Port of Abidjan marks a key milestone for the Perkoa base metals project as production ramps up towards its name plate capacity of 1Mtpa.
This would contribute to the project becoming cash flow positive in the near term, which will in turn support Blackthorn Resources' exploration at its Mumbwa Project in Zambia.
Further milestones include the production of silver and lead as well as the start of underground mining
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