Avenira Ltd. recently announced continued steady progress has been made on the Baobab phosphate project in Senegal, including mining, processing, infrastructure and water supply. The company expects initial Stage 1 operation to produce 500,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of phosphate concentrate. Total capital expenditure to production is $15 million.

“It is very pleasing to see the Baobab phosphate project development advancing rapidly,” said Avenira Managing Director and CEO Cliff Lawrenson.

“The project team is making solid progress in all key areas and the project remains on budget and on schedule for first production in the second half of calendar 2016.

Mining operations have started and mine and process plant access roads are complete with the open-pit ramp built.

BAUER Resources Senegal has been contracted to drill and install two water bores for the project, principally for processing the phosphate ore. This drilling is well under way with the first of two 500-m-deep water bores drilled and airlifting water. Once complete, the drill rig will start the second process water bore.

Mining contractor Agromines has completed top soil clearing of the first stage of the open pit and the main mining fleet has commenced overburden removal and is ramping up to be fully operational by the end of March.

South African-based specialist engineering group Consulmet is progressing with the fixed-price design and construction of the project modular wet screening plant. The plant is being fabricated in Johannesburg and will be transported to site for final erection and installation.