PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands miner Base Resources has flagged lower production expectations for the 2020 financial year as operations at the Kwale mineral sands project, in Kenya, moved from the Central Dune orebody to the South Dune orebody.
For the full 2019, Base is expecting to produce between 88 000 t to 94 000 t of rutile, between 385 000 t and 415 000 t of ilmenite and between 31 000 t and 34 000 t of zircon.
However, for the full 2020 financial year, rutile production is expected to reach between 64 000 t and 70 000 t, while ilmenite production will be between 315 000 t and 350 000 t, and zircon production between 25 000 t and 28 000 t.
Base told shareholders on Wednesday that the lower production guidance for the 2020 financial year resulted from the lower heavy mineral grade of the South Dune orebody, depletion of stockpiled heavy mineral concentrates during the transition of the mining operations, and normal uncertainties associated with mining a new orebody.
The company noted that the drawdown of stockpiled heavy mineral concentrate during the 2019 financial year has allowed Base to maintain higher feed rates to the mineral separation plant, despite the declining ore grades in the remnants of the Central Dune orebody, allowing the miner to maintain higher production levels over the year.