Production suspended at Kenmare’s Moma mine

Industrial action brings a halt to work at mine in Mozambique

Kenmare announced plans to make  162 workers at the mine redundant in February

Kenmare announced plans to make 162 workers at the mine redundant in February

 

Irish titanium and zircon miner Kenmare Resources said on Wednesday that production has been temporarily suspended at its Moma mine in northern Mozambique due to unofficial industrial action.

The company, which announced plans to make 162 workers at the mine redundant in February because of falling mineral prices, said the unofficial action comes after agreement was reached earlier this year between management and unions over changes to working patterns. The changes were due to be implemented on a gradual basis from this month.

Titanium ingot prices have fallen by about a third since 2012.

Kenmare received a watered-down share offer from Australia’s Iluka Resources for the company at the end of April, valuing it at about €260 million (£189 million).

The miner reported a loss after tax of $100.8 million (€90.7 million) in 2014. That compared with a loss of $44.1 million the previous year but includes an impairment charge of $64.8 million.

The company also recently announced a restructuring of its debt that will see lenders provide up to $50 million in additional funding.

Kenmare recorded revenues of $174.3 million (€157 million) in 2014, up 26 per cent on the $137.9 million recorded in 2013.