London-listed Kenmare Resources says it is seeing an uptick in production as the relocated Wet Concentrator Plant B settles into operation at the Pilivili site, at the Moma titanium minerals mine, in Mozambique.
The move of the plant started from the Namalope orezone to Pilivili in the third quarter of 2020 and was the last of three projects to increase ilmenite production of the group.
MD Michael Carvill shares in a statement that the company is confident of producing between 1.1-million and 1.2-million tonnes of ilmenite this year.
The rising production volumes are supported by strong demand for the company’s products.
In the quarter ended March 31, heavy mineral concentrate production increased by 46% quarter-on-quarter to 361 900 t, while benefitting from a 37% increase in grade.
Ilmenite production was up 73% quarter-on-quarter to 275 100 t, while primary zircon production increased by 39% quarter-on-quarter to 13 300 t. Rutile production increased by 36% quarter-on-quarter to 1 900 t.
“Market conditions for ilmenite remain strong and the backdrop for zircon has also been improving; we expect prices to begin rising in coming quarters.”
In a quarterly update, Carvill says the number of people in isolation owing to Covid-19 at Moma was 41 on April 13, down from 177 people in isolation on March 10. The larger number of cases limited the availability of personnel for Kenmare, including senior management, during the quarter under review.