Production at Kenmare Resources rose significantly in first quarter

Mining company predicts rising prices for ilmenite and zircon

Managing director of Kenmare Resources Michael Carvill: “Our rising production volumes are also well supported by strong demand for our products”

Managing director of Kenmare Resources Michael Carvill: “Our rising production volumes are also well supported by strong demand for our products”

 

Dublin and London-listed mining firm Kenmare Resources said its production increased significantly in the first quarter of the year, leading to a more optimistic outlook for the coming months.

In the three months ended March 31st, 2021, heavy mineral concentrate production was 46 per cent higher at 361,900 tonnes for the quarter, fuelled by a 37 per cent increase in grade and a 10 per cent increase in tonnes excavated

Ilmenite production was up 73 per cent to 275,100 tonnes in the quarter, while primary zircon production increased 39 per cent to 13,300 tonnes. Kenmare’s rutile production was 36 per cent higher year-on-year to 1,900 tonnes.

The company said total shipments of finished products increased strongly, rising 77 per cent to 344,400 tonnes, as increased production volumes and upgraded transhipment capacity made a contribution.

“It’s very pleasing to see the uplift in production as WCP B settles into normal operation in Pilivili [Mozambique]. We remain confident in the outlook for production and re-iterate our guidance of 1.1-1.2 million tonnes per annum of ilmenite in 2021,” managing director Michael Carvill said.

“Our rising production volumes are also well supported by strong demand for our products. Market conditions for ilmenite remain strong, and the backdrop for zircon has also been improving and we expect prices to begin rising in the coming quarters.”

The company also said it had made progress in addressing the impact of Covid-19 on its operations. The number of people in isolation currently stands at 41, down from 177 on March 10th, with the company now conducting weekly testing of the complete workforce on the site to help identify cases more quickly.

Kenmare said there had been minor interruptions to operations as a result of the pandemic.

The company said demand for its products was strong across all major geographical regions, with ilmenite demand expected to remain robust and market dynamics for zircon also improving in the first quarter of the year.