AfriTin remains positive on tin market despite commodity volatility

Tin is a critical element in manufacture of electronics

DEMAND for tin would “remain positive” this year despite commodity market volatility, said AfriTin CEO Anthony Viljoen whose company today reported a maiden group profit for the year ended February.

AfriTin is expanding its Uis tin mine which benefited from extremely strong pricing for tin concentrate in the year under review. Revenue of £13.6m was 178% higher year-on-year driven by increased output.

Viljoen said Uis would be expanded to 1,200 tons of tin in the current year in terms of its first phase expansion, with other phases planned. The company also intended to produce tantalum and lithium by-products.

“Despite volatile global commodity markets this year, management and the board of directors remain confident that the market fundamentals for tin production will remain positive,” said Viljoen in comments to the published numbers.

Group profit of £0.4m represented a positive swing of £6.2m on the previous financial year. However, the company reported a taxed loss of £0.474m which compares to a taxed loss of £5.796m in the prior year.

Commissioning of the first phase expansion would be at the end of September.

AfriTin said in July that it had agreed debt facility term sheet totalling £5.5m (N$100m) for building of the expansion.

A phase two expansion anticipates production of 10 million tons a year run-of-mine of tin, lithium (petalite) and tantalum for a period of 14 years. There was potential for a mine life expansion depending on the outcome of exploration work, the company said.