Kenmare resources sees record production in second quarter

Company plans to begin vaccinating employees, contractors and local communities later in the month


Dublin and London-listed mining company Kenmare Resources said production of ilmenite hit a record in the second quarter of the year as investments began to pay off.

In a trading update the company said heavy mineral concentrate production was up 41 per cent in the second quarter of the year to 436,600 tonnes as higher grade and excavated ore volumes had an impact.

That in turn led to record ilmenite production of 283,900 tonnes, a 35 per cent increase year-on-year. Primary zircon production was 14,900 tonnes, a 28 per cent increase.

The company said there was a 14 per cent increase in total shipments of finished products at 249,600 tonnes.

Strong market conditions seen in the second quarter for ilmenite are expected to continue into the third quarter, while the outlook for the zircon market has continued to strengthen.

At the end of the first half of the 2021, net debt rose to $76.1 million (€64.4m), up from $64 million at the end of December, as higher prices and sales were offset by the timing of capital expenditure and a reduction in the use of invoice factoring.

“Kenmare’s capital investment over the last three years continues to deliver as Q2 saw a record quarter of production for ilmenite, improving on the record set in Q1 2021,” said managing director Michael Carvill.

“ WCP B continues to perform well in Pilivili [Mozambique], supporting higher volumes of ore mined and final product output. We remain confident in the outlook for annual production and reiterate our guidance of 1.1 million to 1.2 million tonnes of ilmenite in 2021.”

Kenmare said it expects production of all products to be within 2021 guidance.

The company expressed concern about the rise in Delta variant Covid-19 cases, and said it planned to offer Covid-19 vaccinations to all mine employees and contractors, and local communities later in July.