13 February 2015
Metals Exploration plc (AIM: MTL) ("Metals Exploration" or "the Company"), the natural resources exploration and development company with assets in the Pacific Rim region, is pleased to provide an update on matters relating to the construction and development of its Runruno gold-molybdenum project ("the Project") in the Philippines.
- Preparations have commenced for commissioning of the Process Plant in June 2015.
- Production ramp up and plant optimisation expected to occur through H2 2015.
- Self‐managed project build programme continues to progress well in all critical areas of construction despite some unseasonably wet weather and public holidays around Christmas and the Papal visit to the Philippines.
- The inoculum cultures necessary for the Biox® and ASTER™ processes have been delivered to site.
- Initial performance of the cultures has been very positive and process operator training has commenced.
- A five year power supply contract with SN Aboitiz Power RES Inc. has been signed.
- On‐site electrical switchyard has been approved as compliant by the Philippines Energy Regulatory Commission.
- 69Kv transmission lines have been energised and the project is now directly connected to the Philippines national grid, as a direct contestable customer.
- FCF owner's construction team is confident that commissioning of the Process Plant can begin by the end of Q2, 2015.
- US $54m has been drawn down from the US $70m senior facility available for construction.
- The construction project costs continue to be forecast at the budgeted figure US $182.8m.
- All high value and long lead equipment packages have been awarded with most components successfully delivered to site without incident.
Ian Holzberger, Executive Chairman, commented:
"As construction gains momentum again after the Christmas period and the recent trip to the Philippines by Pope Francis, our Runruno
gold project is really taking shape as we prepare for and look
towards production. Some particularly wet weather certainly made
conditions at site more challenging than normal, nonetheless good
safe progress was made on each of the main construction areas.
"At the end of January, essential areas of construction occurred
including structural steel erection, top of tank steel erection, ROM
concrete structure erection, main MCC switch room structures and
installation and erection of the ball mill. Metallurgy test‐work is well
underway after successfully commissioning the site based Biox® mini
plant in December and taking delivery of the initial four truckloads
of ore for its start‐up operation. It was also very pleasing to resolve
the project's electrical power needs after signing a five year contract
with SN Aboitiz Power RES Inc..."