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Akobo Minerals Starts Up Operation of Ultra-Small Plant to Process First Gold

Akobo Minerals AB (publ) (Euronext and Frankfurt: AKOBO), the Scandinavian-based Ethiopian gold exploration and boutique mining company, today announced that it has reached a true milestone with the start of operations of its ultra-small plant and, with it, production of the company’s first gold.

Ultra small plant in action Akobo gold. Image Credit: Akobo Minerals AB

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Key Highlights 

  • Operational start-up acting as proof of concept
  • Early test production commenced with washed out tailings
  • Gold seen from first processed material – though with limited economic value
  • Learning and preparation process for main plant – power, logistics and water
  • Will continue production with stockpiled material 
  • Expecting increased grade and volume when production starts from Segele ore body

Jørgen Evjen, CEO of Akobo Minerals, said: “However you look at it, production of our first gold is an important landmark for the company and is a real boost for the employees following the incredible work they have already undertaken on our road to full production. We had hoped for production by now from the main processing plant, but this stop-gap measure of using a two tons/hour ultra-small plant will allow us to use this proof-of-concept to iron out any issues now, whilst also securing some early gold production.”

He added: “The final parts of the main plant are arriving in camp from Addis Ababa shortly, so first production is expected during the second quarter of 2023. In the meantime, we are using the time to complete all necessary building and operational elements of the plant and we will be well-placed for the main plant’s successful integration once on-site.”

The ultra-small plant began operation last week with already washed-out tailings from previous artisanal mining – and, surprisingly, actually extracted some gold. The next stage is to feed the plant with crushed and milled material from the locally sourced crushing machine which is also in operation. From this point, there will be a step change in the volume of recovered gold, even before the main processing plant is in situ.

The decision was taken to have an ultra-small plant delivered from Solo Resources as a stop-gap measure while the main plant was en route from South Africa, following delays primarily due to electricity shortages in the country and cement shortages in Ethiopia. With a desire to ensure its first gold production target was met on-time, the small plant acquisition demonstrates how creative and nimble Akobo Minerals can be as it meets the challenge of operating in a developing nation.

In recent weeks, significant levels of operational activity have been ramping up on-site - from foundation work and construction to commissioning – to meet the demands of a company that is building towards full gold production shortly.

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