Trevali Mining, in its first full year of operating in Africa, increased production at both Perkoa, in Burkina Faso, and Rosh Pinah, in Namibia, over 2017 levels.
“Despite challenges faced at Caribou, [in Canada], Trevali produced 407-million pounds of payable zinc in 2018, in-line with our initial guidance [of 400-million to 427-million pounds] set out one year ago,” Trevali president and CEO Dr Mark Cruise commented on Thursday.
Zinc output is also higher than the 225.1-million pounds produced in 2017.
The company also produced 41.7-million payable pounds of lead and 1.2-million ounces of silver in 2018.
Perkoa, which Trevali acquired in August 2017, produced 184-million pounds of zinc in 2018, above the targeted 155-million to 165-million pounds.
Rosh Pinah, which it also acquired in August 2017, produced 94.2-million pounds of zinc in 2018. Trevali noted that harder ore and head grades above mill design from the new Western Ore Field had resulted in lower-than-expected throughput and recovery at the operation.
The Caribou mine, meanwhile, produced 72-million pounds of zinc, compared with the 79.9-million pounds produced in 2017, as planned remediation works continued.
Trevali’s Santander mine, in Peru, delivered 56.8-million pounds of zinc, compared with the 53.1-million pounds produced in 2017. The mine had, during the fourth quarter, transitioned fully to being owner-operated.
Trevali has set its zinc production guidance for this year at 361-million to 401-million payable pounds.
Lead and silver production are expected to modestly increase to 44-million to 49-million payable pounds and 1.32-million to 1.47-million ounces, respectively, as higher grades are mined.
At Perkoa, lower mined grades are expected to result in lower metal production and a slight increase in operating costs.
Trevali will, meanwhile, continue with projects, including a new filter press and modifications to its flotation and grinding circuits, to overcome the challenges experienced at Rosh Pinah. It is evaluating a 50% increase in mill throughput and expects to receive the results of a feasibility study into this during the second half of this year.
Production at Caribou is expected to be in line with that of 2018 as underground development advances to increase operating flexibility.
At Santander, in Peru, higher grades and increased throughput are expected to result in increased zinc production levels this year.
Operating costs in 2019 are expected to be higher than those in 2018 as additional investments are made to improve operating flexibility and ensure stable operating results.
Capital and committed exploration expenditures are expected to be $74-million and $8-million, respectively, with 2019 exploration to focus on regional targets at Perkoa and near-mine opportunities at Santander.
Meanwhile, as part of the company’s ongoing transformation, vision and strategy to be a premier global base metals mining company, Dr Mark Cruise plans to step down as president and CEO and Mike Hoffman as chairperson.
Both will continue in their current roles until their successors are appointed, to ensure a smooth transition to a new leadership team for the long-term benefit of Trevali and its stakeholders.
The board has started the searches for a new president and CEO and chairperson.