Wednesday 18 October 2017

Kenmare set for record year as ilmenite production increases

Michael Carvill of Kenmare
Michael Carvill of Kenmare
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Kenmare Resources, a global producer of titanium minerals and zircon, has reported a record quarter for the production of ilmenite, keeping the company on track for its highest ever annual production of the mineral.

Production of the mineral increased by 6pc year-on-year to 257,500 tonnes in the three months to 30 September, according to the latest production report from the company.

In the product market, Chinese demand for ilmenite is improving again, following a slower period in the last couple of months.

Production of total finished products was 277,800 tonnes in the three month period, up from 265,700 tonnes in the same period last year.

It was another strong quarter for the volume of ore mined, which increased 9pc to 7,788,000 tonnes, compared to the equivalent period in 2016.

However declines were recorded in the production of heavy mineral concentrate in the three months to 30 September, declining 16pc to 272,600 tonnes, due to what the company said was guided lower grades and more challenging mining conditions.

Mining conditions are expected to improve in the latter quarter of 2017.

Zircon production also recorded a decrease of 8pc to 18,100 tonnes in the three month period, compared to the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile total shipments of finished products during the three months to 30 September decreased by 26pc to 208,400 tonnes, as maintenance of the company’s primary transhipment vessel took place.

Shipments were also negatively impacted by extended periods of adverse weather during the period.

Both transhipment vessel used by the company have returned to full service in September.

"Q3 2017 represented another record quarter for Kenmare's ilmenite production, keeping the company on track for the highest ever annual production, which will be within the guidance range.

In the product market, Chinese demand for ilmenite is improving again, following a slower period in the last couple of months," Michael Carvill, MD of Kenmare Resources, said.

In the most recent set of accounts at the company, released in August, revenues had increased 82pc to $102.4m in the six months to 30 June.

Profits had increased to $9.4m in the six month period, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization – a measure of a company’s operating cash flow – increased to $29m in the six months to 30 June.

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