Plant upgrade and improvement in operating time at Paladin Energy LimitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kayelekera Uranium Mine (KUM) in Karonga pushed up output by 60 percent in the quarter ending December 2011 from the previous quarter, an activities report has indicated.
This performance, according to the quarterly activities report signed by Paladin managing director John Borshof, was realised in spite of 12 days being lost in October due to acid plant being offline and non-operational.
The output reflects a significant step-change in plant performance with the operation now nearing nameplate production, said the report.
But the report said once the plant resumed operations, there was minor downtime for the remainder of the quarter.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Both November and December were record production months and represented an average of 93 percent of nameplate production. Production for the quarter was 631 780lb [pounds] or 77 percent of nameplate with the production deficit largely the result of the lost days in October,Ã¢â‚¬Â said the report.
In December, KUM registered a landslip which affected mining activities, but officials said this was not a common event and was confined to a slope adjacent to the plant site and it was not captured in the initial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
But in the report, Paladin said the ground movement to the west of the plant continued to decrease appreciably and appears stable.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Several remedial programmes were completed and included the partial movement of a waste dump, hydrogeological drilling for possible dewatering and drainage works throughout the area in preparation for the wet season. Some ground movement may return during the wet season, but it is expected to be manageable due to the above remediation works,Ã¢â‚¬Â said the report.