Largo Resources (TSXV:LGO) is closing in on the targeted commissioning date for its Maracas vanadium project in the Bahia province of Brazil. In an operational update, the company highlighted some of the recent progress that has been made at the mine site.
On February 3, Largo announced that its crushing system is fully operational, with 18,000 tonnes crushed and stockpiled. Furthermore, the company said both the milling and beneficiation systems are in the process of being commissioned, while the production of vanadium pentoxide concentrate has started. Largo is expecting to stockpile 5,000 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide in preparation of the kiln’s commissioning.
The kiln and cooler sections are mechanically complete, and currently the refractory is being installed in the kiln, cooler as well as the intake and exhaust chutes. In preparation for the kiln’s start up, Largo is proceeding with assembly work on the electrostatic precipitator. The company has also started commissioning the salt evaporation system.
In November, Largo provided investors with an updated CAPEX budget for Maracas, stating that the budget is currently forecast at US$248 million, which includes full use of the $7-million contingency; that’s in contrast to the initial budget of $230 million. Delays to the property’s initial completion date due to manufacturing issues and delayed delivery of four rollers for the kiln and cooler are the main reasons behind the budget increase. Largo also closed a $17-million private placement in mid-December.
With the remaining CAPEX, the company has sufficient finds to complete the development of Maracas; it is currently on track to complete commissioning within the first quarter of 2014.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.