Officials at Centaurus Metals will commission its flagship Jambreiro iron ore project in Brazil beginning in Q2 2014 rather than Q4 2013, following a series of off-take negotiations focusing on life-of-mine contracts. The review, according to Centaurus, was driven by talks with potential Brazilian steel industry consumers and opportunities to establish life-of-mine contracts for concentrates. Jambreiro lies in an iron-prolific southeast region of Latin America’s biggest nation that is also home to some of its most steel-heavy industries.

Centaurus Managing Director Darren Gordon sounded enthusiasm over the project’s progress with “the benefits of securing a strong off-take partner far outweighing the six-month delay in delivering first concentrate,” he said in a statement. “The extra time in the schedule will also now be used to enhance plant design and planning.”

New regional life-of-mine off-takes are mandated for any steel mill customer to progressively alter current contracted sinter feed sources, Centaurus officials added. Redirection implementation by the steel mills requires additional time, meanwhile, as both parties must establish mutual contract terms.

Consequently, Centaurus now forecasts Jambreiro commissioning in Q2 2014 instead of by Q4 2013, as originally planned. Centaurus remains in contact with international banks for a pending debt financing package, company representatives added, pending approved off-take arrangements.  

Along with Management Support Contractor, MCA, and engineering and procurement contractor Tetra Tech, Centaurus has begun work on spiral concentrator units of the beneficiation circuit, in accordance with improvement identified in pilot test work. This has allowed Centaurus to quantify capital and operating cost benefits of introducing spirals into the circuit.