Centrex Metals say they have completed on-site assembly of their start-up plant at Ardmore.
Centrex told the ASX last week they finished assembling the 70 tonne per hour start-up plant without incident.
"The 70tph modular start-up plant has been designed as an oversized module able to be readily upgraded to a 140tph circuit to meet the proposed full-scale 800,000 tonne per annum of concentrate envisaged for full mining operations," the company said.
The $60 million Ardmore Phosphate Rock Project located 30km from Dajarra plans for a ten-year openpit mining operation to produce 776,000 dry tonnes of premium 35% Phosphorus pentoxide and phosphate rock product a year.
They commenced site works in June, establishing site access and installing processing water and monitoring bores as well as other items necessary to support the trial mine.
Centrex said the concentrate they produce from the start-up operation would be sold to "a select number of target long-term customers so as to validate the premium product that will be produced from Ardmore" and would be vital for securing contracts with those customers.
The company says it is now shifting focus to other start-up activities including marketing of additional trial parcel concentrate sales as well as mining, crushing and logistics tasks and hopes to be fully funded before commissioning the start-up plant and beginning mining and processing operations late 2019.
Centrex CEO Simon Slesarawich said the completion of start-up construction was an exciting milestone.
"We look forward to advancing trial mining and production which will enable the company to demonstrate the quality of the Ardmore product and further advance the project with off-take partners in the region," Mr Slesarawich said.
The shared domestic phosphate demand for Australia and New Zealand is around 1 million tonnes a year, which Centrex could come close to meeting.
Centrex will truck product from Ardmore to the Mount Isa-Townsville rail line at Duchess and export from Townsville through existing port facilities.
But to get to Duchess trucks will have to travel 90km on a mostly bumpy dirt track and Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell has highlighted the need to upgrade the road for Dajarra to Duchess.
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