Mining is expected to start at the Ardmore phosphate project south of Mount Isa next week to produce 25,000 tonnes of ore.
Centrex Metals executive chairman Graham Chrisp said a team was on site this week to carry out surveying and necessary preparatory work.
The company is ultimately looking to produce about 800,000 wet tonnes of phosphate rock per annum from the Ardmore site and in 2019 completed on-site assembly of a 70-tonne-per-hour start-up processing plant.
Once the initial 25,000-tonne mining operation has been carried out, Centrex plans to progress work on updating the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project.
In its most recent quarterly report, Centrex said it was continuing to revise the DFS to reflect current circumstances and financial parameters.
“Uncertainty regarding future phosphate prices continues, with forecasting made more difficult because of exchange rate fluctuations, and COVID-19
related lock-downs and their impact on project construction timelines,” it stated.
As well as marketing rock phosphate from the Ardmore project to domestic and overseas customers, Centrex has been looking at “several innovative concepts” that it says may increase the potential for sales.