While the six months ended December 31, 2018, were challenging for Aim-listed Rainbow Rare Earths from a production perspective, the company is confident that its performance will improve in the coming months.
"We have begun to address the teething issues and are now focused on increasing production from new mining areas, targeting near-term positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation and becoming a key strategic supplier to the market," CEO Martin Eales said in a statement published on Tuesday.
Rainbow owns the Gakara rare earths project, in Burundi.
During the six months to December 31, the company continued mining at the project's first pit – Gasagwe.
"The deposit at Gasagwe proved more complex and unpredictable than initially modelled and the ramp-up progressed more slowly than we had planned.
"In response, we modified our near-term production strategy to target the operation of four mining areas in parallel. The second mining area, Murambi, began production in the second half of December, and the next two areas – Kiyenzi and Gomvyi – are undergoing preparatory exploration and development work with a view to commencing operations in the second half of calendar 2019," Rainbow stated.
The company explained that operating the multiple pits will help to moderate the unpredictability in the supply of ore, while increasing production to breakeven levels of about 250 t a month of concentrate.