Kenmare Resources production rises in first quarter

But disruption caused by Cyclone Idai hits shipments

Michael Carvill, Kenmare Resources.

Michael Carvill, Kenmare Resources.


Kenmare Resources got off to a good start in 2019, with the company reporting a rise in production.

But shipments were hit by bad sea conditions in the first three months of the year, with some disruption linked to the impact of Cyclone Idai in the region. The storm caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing more than 1,000 people.

The group said it produced 247,00 tonnes of ilmenite in the first quarter, up 13 per cent on the same period a year earlier, with Zircon production up 7 per cent.

Output was down compared to the final quarter of 2018, a period that included record levels of production in December and an absence of maintenance. Kenmare Resources reported a 34 per cent decrease in total shipments of finished products to 176,500 tonnes

Managing director Michael Carvill said 2019 total sales volumes weren’t expected to be affected.

“Titanium feedstock markets strengthened in Q1 2019 and we expect ilmenite prices to continue to rise in Q2 2019, driven by increasing Chinese demand,” he said.

The company said heavy mineral concentrate production rose 15 per cent, with concentrates production up 80 per cent as the Kenmare Resources introduced mineral sands concentrate product

Looking ahead, Kenmare said it expected the market for ilmenite to tighten further during the remainder of the year, but the zircon market had strong long-term fundamentals.