London-listed Kenmare Resources expects the heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) grades at its Moma mine, in Mozambique, to improve in the third quarter, following the planned mining of lower grades in the second quarter ended June 30.
The company on Thursday said that, despite an 18% increase in tonnes of ore mined, HMC production decreased by 27% year-on-year to 274 700 t in the second quarter, as a result of the lower grades.
“The second quarter this year was the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019 in terms of grade, which resulted in lower HMC production, but consequently higher grades are anticipated for the remainder of the year,” confirmed MD Michael Carvill.
Kenmare, nevertheless, remains on track to achieve its full-year production guidance.
Carvill expects demand for ilmenite to increase in the second half of this year, leading to higher prices.
The company produced 220 100 t of ilmenite in the second quarter, compared with 238 500 t in the second quarter of 2018, while its zircon output was 700 t lower year-on-year, at 11 000 t.
For the half-year ended June 30, Kenmare produced 633 400 t of HMC, 458 200 t of ilmenite and 23 100 t of primary zircon.