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Shipments of minerals fall almost 15pc at Kenmare Resources

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Kenmare head Michael Carvill

Kenmare head Michael Carvill

Kenmare head Michael Carvill

Shipments of minerals at Mozambique-focused Kenmare Resources fell 14pc in the first half of this year when compared to the same period last year.

The performance was impacted by poor sea conditions, according to a trading update from the group.

Kenmare expects shipping volumes to increase in the second half of the year due to seasonally calmer sea conditions and scheduled improvement works for both transhipment vessels to increase their loading capacity.

Meanwhile, its heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production of 558,400 tonnes was down 12pc year-on-year over the six month period.

Focusing on the three months to June 30 and HMC production was 310,300 tonnes, representing a 13pc increase compared to quarter two last year. This is as a result of a 7pc increase in ore grades to 3.29pc and a 4pc increase in excavated ore volumes to 10.3 million tonnes, setting a new quarterly record.

The increase in excavated ore volumes was due primarily to Wet Concentrator Plant C’s contribution to production during the period.

In the six months to June 30 the company produced 368,900 tonnes of ilmenite – which is used for a number of purposes, including in paints, plastics and paper to brighten colours – a fall of 19pc on the same level of production last year.

Looking forward, Kenmare expects ilmenite production to be 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes for this year. The company said the market for ilmenite “remained strong”.

Elsewhere, the Dublin-listed company said the relocation of WCP B, its third development project, has been impacted by global restrictions relating to Covid-19.

It continues to target the move of WCP B to Pilivili over the next couple of months, with mining commencing in the latter half of this year.

The additional initiatives required to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19-related delays are currently anticipated to increase overall project costs by approximately 10pc, the company said.

As at June 30 Kenmare had cash and cash equivalents of $98.6m, its debt was $52.7m, up from $13.7m net cash at December 31 mainly due to scheduled capital expenditure.

The company said it is “financially well-resourced to complete the WCP B move, while maintaining its healthy financial position.”

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