PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore junior Northern Iron has reported higher revenues for the quarter ended March, despite a decline in concentrate production.
Northern Iron reported that concentrate production for the three months to March was 497 000 t, down 6% on the previous quarter, owing to a planned shutdown, and slower-than-expected operating rates after the shut, owing to cold weather and unexpected mill downtime.
Mine production, however, achieved a new record of 4.96-million tons, up 12% on the previous quarter. Northern Iron said that this was the fifth consecutive quarter of increased production rates.
Meanwhile, concentrate sales reached 482 000 t for the quarter, up 2% on the previous quarter, while the average price achieved was up 28%, resulting in an unaudited earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $10-million, up $8-million from the previous qaurter.
Northern Iron told shareholders that higher production volumes during the next quarter would result in lower unit operating costs for the mine, as demonstrated during March, when record monthly concentrate production of 187 000 t resulted in a cash cost of $76/t, despite three days of unplanned mill downtime during the month.
During the next quarter, Northern Iron would continue to focus on improving its plant reliability and milling rates to achieve higher concentrate production and lower unit costs, and was looking to diversify its sales among a variety of offtake partners.