PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands miner Base Resources has reported record rutile and zircon production during the three months to December, as the successful completion of the mineral separation plant upgrade and ongoing process optimisation work at the Kwale mineral sands project, in Kenya, delivered results.
During the quarter ended December, Base produced 109 649 t of ilmenite, 21 768 t of rutile and 7 507 t of zircon.
This compared with the 116 121 t of ilmenite, 20 926 t of rutile and 6 546 t of zircon produced in the September quarter.
Base told shareholders on Wednesday that ilmenite production dropped as a result of the additional mineral separation plant magnet stage upgrade, which had the effect of removing rutile from ilmenite product.
Zircon production improved by 15% during the quarter, as a result of wet and dry zircon circuit optimisation and the additional magnet stage.
Meanwhile, sales volumes for the three months reached 103 035 t of ilmenite, 23 896 t of rutile and 7 723 t of zircon, generating revenues of A$245/t.
For the full 2016, Base was expected to deliver between 430 000 t and 450 000 t of ilmenite, along with between 80 000 t and 84 000 t of rutile and between 27 000 t and 30 000 t of zircon.
The production guidance was based on the assumption that the Kwale project would maintain an average mining rate of 4.5-million tonnes a year, and average heaving mineral grades of 8.81% for the remaining six months of 2016.