Kenmare lowers 2018 guidance after consecutive year of record production
African-focussed mining group Kenmare Resources achieved production guidance for all products last calendar year, achieving record production levels of ilmenite, rutile and zircon in the process.
Kenmare reported another consecutive year of record delivery as both production and shipments of all products reached record levels.
Ilmenite production increased 11% to 982,200 tonnes and zircon production grew 9% to 74,000 tonnes.
Total shipments of finished products gained 2% to 1,040,400 tonnes, helping Kenmare reduce net debt from $44.8m to $34.1m throughout the year.
The firm lowered its production guidance for 2018 from 2017's figure of 998,500 to 950,000, saying it expected production to "moderate slightly," mainly due to lower opening stockpiles, but noted that ilmenite shipment volumes were expected to be maintained throughout the trading year as finished goods inventory was drawn down.
Looking forward, managing director Michael Carvill said "In 2018, Kenmare will upgrade capacity of Wet Concentrator Plant B by up to 20% uplift in capacity. Further options are being examined which will both address grade reduction in future years and facilitate an increase in ilmenite production beyond 1 million tonnes per annum."
"Average received prices for H1 2018 are expected to continue to show improvement on H2 2017, benefitting from new contract prices and higher spot prices, particularly for zircon," Carvill added.