Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals has met the upper end of its 2021 revised guidance of between 3 400 t and 3 600 t of vanadium, producing 3 592 t for the year ended December 31.
The majority of vanadium was produced in the second half of the year following operational improvements implemented by the company in the second quarter.
Bushveld says its operational stability has continued, having reported stable production levels for a full 12 months ended June 30.
The company did, however, report 13.7% lower sales volumes year-on-year of 3 314 t, owing to international and local logistics challenges.
An improved average realised price of vanadium in the year under review supported an 18% year-on-year revenue increase to $107-million, as well as an improvement in the group’s underlying group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation from a loss of $14.9-million in 2020 to a loss of $7.5-million in 2021.
After depreciation of $19.4-million, Bushveld made an operating loss of $29.3-million for the year, compared with an operating loss of $32.8-million posted in the prior year, similarly impacted by the significant rand:dollar exchange rate movements.
The company’s net loss for the year came to $42.1-million.
Bushveld ended the year with $15-million of cash on hand, and gross debt of $81-million, while it had $12.7-million of cash on hand left by the end of March.
The company will soon start implementing a cost savings programme to achieve cost savings of at least $2.5-million over a 12- to 24-month period.
Since December 2021, Bushveld has completed commissioning of Kiln 3 at the Vanchem operation, within budget, with a production run rate of 2 600 t anticipated to realise in the fourth quarter.
The company also secured funding for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Vametco operation’s planned hybrid minigrid, which is expected to be completed by the first half of 2023.
Bushveld intends to soon carve out the energy business as a standalone company focused on the vanadium redox flow battery value chain, to better attract institutional investors.
Meanwhile, the company aims to increase production to 8 000 t/y, subject to achieving short-term performance objectives. It will likely achieve a steady-state production run rate of between 5 000 t and 5 400 t of vanadium by the end of this year.
Bushveld is on track to meet its 2022 group production guidance of between 4 200 t and 4 400 t of vanadium.