Business Irish

Monday 22 July 2019

Miner Kenmare 'remains on track' despite dip in quarterly production

Digging deep: A Kenmare mining site in Mozambique. The country is a key area for the firm
Digging deep: A Kenmare mining site in Mozambique. The country is a key area for the firm
Upbeat: Michael Carvill, managing director of Kenmare
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish-owned titanium miner Kenmare Resources has said it remains on track to achieve its 2019 guidance, despite a fall in production.

In the three months to June 30, the group reported a year-on-year decrease of 27pc in heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production, to 274,700 tonnes. This was due to planned mining of lower ore grades, which are expected to improve in the second half of 2019, according to a trading update from the company.

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Production of ilmenite decreased 8pc year-on-year to 220,100 tonnes, while there was a 6pc decrease in primary zircon production to 11,000 tonnes, due to the lower HMC production.

Mozambique-focused Kenmare said it was "on track" to achieve its 2019 guidance on all stated metrics.

Michael Carvill, managing director of the company, said: "Excavated ore volumes continued to increase during quarter two, as the investments we are making to grow our mining capacity are already beginning to deliver.

"Quarter two was the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019 in terms of grade, which resulted in lower HMC production, but consequently higher grades are anticipated for the remainder of the year."

As of June 30, the company had a net cash position of $3.5m (€3.1m), a reduction on the net cash of $13.5m on December 31, 2018.

This was due to reduced shipments in the first half of this year, and development capital expenditure on the company's growth projects.

Market conditions for ilmenite continued to improve in the second quarter of 2019, with further price strengthening continuing into the second half of this year, the group also said.

The zircon market remained stable in the three months to June 30, with strong long-term fundamentals, the company added.

Shares in Kenmare were trading up half a per cent in London yesterday.

Irish Independent

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