JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – JSE-listed chrome miner Bauba reported a profit before tax of R46.7-million for the six months ended December 31, against a loss of R6.8-million in the six months to December 31, 2016.
Profit attributable to equity holders of the parent was R15.89-million, resulting in diluted headline earnings a share of 4.16c.
This improved performance came on the back of Bauba's only operating mine, Moeijelijk, resuming production in January 2017, after having been on care and maintenance for the six months to December 2016.
During the six months under review, the Moeijelijk underground mine design was revised to increase the extractable tonnes from the 2.9-million initially reported to 3.8-million tonnes, extending the life-of-mine from 9 to 12 years.
Bauba expects an improved performance in the second half of the current financial year as it capitalises on the positive chrome ore market.
Planned stable monthly underground LG6 chrome ore production of 30 000 t is still expected to be achieved by the first half of the 2019 financial year.
Underground production of 25 000 t is now forecast for the 2018 financial year.
This is down from previously guided production owing to additional safety measures implemented when installing the underground declines, which are now established.
A contract to build a spiral wash plant and crushing circuit to upgrade Moeijelijk's current run-of-mine saleable product to foundry, chemical and metallurgical grade concentrates has been concluded and work has started, with the plant to be commissioned by July.
“This will enhance Bauba's profit margins and diversify its revenue stream into less volatile, premium speciality grade products,” the company noted.