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Kropz plans to start in late 2021

Last January the team behind Kropz was sure production would have started by now. However, according to the latest information the mine will only start production late in 2021.

Krop, formerly know as Elandsfontein mine outside Hopefield, announced this month test work at the phosphate mine has been completed. The findings “identified and confirmed a robust processing alternative to the previous flotation circuit”.

Operations at the mine have been halted since September 2017. Kropz later announced that design changes would be made to the plant after various studies were conducted, Ian Harebottle Kropz CEO told Weslander in February 2019.

Supplementary design work has now been completed which will “advance the front-end engineering, and has identified that additional equipment, infrastructure and modifications to the original plant are needed to cater for the requisite process modifications,” Kropz said in a statement.

The additional modifications means more time is required before production. Kropz said the total estimated funding requirement is US$40 million, which excludes the US$14 million already held by Kropz Elandsfontein. It will also include working capital, debt repayments and capital expenditure.

Kropz’s target for commercial production is now set for the fourth quarter next year. The project has a finance facility with BNP Paribas S.A. (BNPP) for US$30 million, which is currently fully drawn. Talks between the two, in light of the delays in the commissioning of production, has lead to an agreement by Kropz to provide BNPP with positive test results, a schedule and budget to completion for the project. This will be along with a comprehensive funding proposal to project completion.

. The appeal hearing against Elandsfontein’s integrated water use licence was heard by the Water Tribunal from 6 to 8 February. The hearing will resume on Monday 16 March.

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