Sierra Rutile lowers FY guidance, says demand remains soft

14th December 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

ASX-listed Sierra Rutile on Thursday lowered its guidance for 2023 to between 111 000 t and 113 000 t, from the previous guidance of 115 000 to 120 000 t.

The fourth quarter production will be lower than previously anticipated, owing to in-country disruptions, including fuel shortages arising following a period of civil unrest in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Rutile also reported that market demand remained soft, stating that there were no contracted bulk rutile sales for the first quarter of 2024 at this time.

The company said the prevailing market conditions predominantly reflected a cyclical decline in demand, rather than a longer-term trend.

“Given Sierra Rutile’s significant contribution of over 20% to the global natural rutile supply, the company is strategically positioned for a longer term recovery in the market, particularly as global deficit in the supply of natural rutile continues to emerge,” said the miner.

Meanwhile, Sierra Rutile expects the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Sembehun project to be completed by the end of the first quarter of next year. The timing of any final investment decision will be confirmed once the DFS has been completed.

“Discussions are currently under way with major development partners to potentially fund key infrastructure, and strategic equity opportunities are also being investigated,” said Sierra Rutile.

Sembehun represents one of the largest and highest grade natural rutile resources in the world, and its development would extend Sierra Rutile’s mine life by at least 13 years.