BASE Resources said higher yields from a new section it had started mining at its Kwale mine in Kenya would result in an improvement to production guidance for its 2020 financial year with ilmenite being put at 335,000 to 355,000 tons.
This compares to a previous 2020 guidance for ilmenite between 315,000 to 350,000, but a particular boon was the increase in rutile and zircon production numbers for the year.
Rutile production has been adjusted to a range of 75,000 to 81,000 tons whilst zircon would expected to come in at between 29,000 to 32,000 tons compared to previous expectations of 25,000 to 28,000 tons, the company said.
“Since commencing mining on the South Dune orebody in July 2019, the company has encountered higher rutile and marginally lower ilmenite than expected in the mineral assemblage, with zircon largely as forecast,” said Base Resources.
“In addition, due to the mineral characteristics of the South Dune ore, separation efficiency has improved, when compared with the Central Dune ore, and recoveries for all products in the mineral separation plant are higher, particularly for rutile and zircon.”
In addition to operations at Kwale, Base is developing the Toliara resource in Madagascar which it described in December as the country’s best new investment in 10 years as it was expected to generate $1bn in government revenue.
The comments were made in the wake of plans by the Malagasy government to alter fiscal regulations enabling it improved participation in new mining projects.
Commenting on the definitive feasibility study, Base Resources said it would spend $442m in the first stage development after which a second stage $69m project would begin taking production of ilmenite, zircon and rutile to 19 million tons a year (Mt/y) from 13Mt/y.