Metals explorer Symbol Mining (ASX: SL1) has announced the first shipment of zinc concentrate from its Macy zinc and lead mine in Nigeria is now ready to be exported to China.
The company reported 250 tonnes of direct shipping ore has been loaded in 10 containers to be transported by truck to Lagos Port, where it is expected to be receive export clearance and depart in early December.
Symbol’s 60%-owned Macy project is the first industrial-scale mining operation in Nigeria in several years.
This maiden shipment has been achieved just five months after the commencement of mining and one month after the commissioning of the processing plant.
Symbol chief executive officer Tim Wither said the milestone demonstrated the company’s ability to build a successful, viable mining operation in an emerging mining jurisdiction.
“Although a modest maiden shipment, ramp up to a steady state should come with relative ease as the mine deepens into more consistent high-grade material and the processing and logistic channels stabilise,” he said.
According to Symbol, mining is progressing above expectations and there has been “positive signs” with processing head grade achieving Macy’s resource grade expectations.
Over the coming months, the company is expecting to ramp up processing operations to the targeted monthly production of 4,500t of high-grade direct shipping ore zinc and separate lead saleable products.
Mr Wither said the company was now looking forward to restarting its exploration program at the Macy project.
In its September quarter activities report released last month, Symbol outlined plans to complete up to 6sq km of geophysics field work over the existing Macy resource and adjacent prospects of Aisha, Imperial Hill and Gamagari.
The company said it also planned to recommence exploration drilling late in the December quarter, following the maiden shipment.
Noble offtake deal
Symbol is also currently finalising an offtake deal with Singapore-based Noble Resources International.
The agreement involves a free-on-board sales contract with 85% prepayment expected within five days of loading the ore onto the vessel.
The company is anticipating the first revenue next month, with final payment to be determined during a three-month quotational period and independent analysis.