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Aureus Mining (LON:AUE, TSE:AUE) has placed an order for the ball mill at its New Liberty mine in Liberia.
The ball mill is a key component in process plant commissioning; Aureus has placed the order now to meet its target of first gold from the mine in December 2014.
The ball mill has a rating of 145t / hr (tonnes per hour) and is capable of processing at a rate of up to 1.1Mtpa (milion tonnes per annum) of ore.
NCP will supply, deliver and install the mill, with pre-commissioning checks scheduled to be carried out in October 2014.
Other key plant items, including the crushers, apron feeder, slurry pumps, spillage pumps, water pumps, carbon pumps, screens and re-grind mill, will also be ordered this quarter.
David Reading, Aureus' president and chief executive, said: "The ordering of the ball mill is another critical step to ensure the timely and successful development of the project.
"The placing of the mill order is an exciting step for Aureus, as the mill is the heart of our new process plant. We are pleased to be associated with NCP, which brings many years of milling experience to the project.
"As a consequence of having all permits in place, key management personnel, an owner team assembled and project debt financing process in place, Aureus continues to de-risk the project and is well placed to achieve first gold by December 2014."
Broker finnCap, which rates the shares a 'buy', noed the mill was due for delivery in May 2014, in time for the planned mine startup in December 2014.
"Construction should be complete by October 2014, following which the plant will be progressively commissioned in time for first production at the end of the year," it said targeting a price of 102.6p.
Shares rose 1.23% to stand at 41.25p.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.