Kenmare begins relocation of plant to Pilivili as capital expansion programme nears end

Wet Concentrator Plant B on the move.

KENMARE Resources was on track to start mining from the Pilivili site at its Moma mine in northern Mozambique by the fourth quarter – a development that would complete the firm’s production growth strategy and take operating costs into the first quartile globally.

The company said today it had started on the relocation of Wet Concentrator Plant B from the now mined-out Namalope deposit to Pilivili, situated 23 kilometres away. The equipment move, which begins with the dredge, is being achieved through the use of self-propelled modular transporters using a purpose-built road.

The relocation is the last of three projects the aim of which is to take production to 1.2 million tons of ilmenite annually from about 2021. In so doing, Kenmare will reduce cash operating costs to between $125 and $135/t and lay the foundation for improved shareholder returns.

Kenmare produced 892,000 tons of ilmenite in its 2019 financial year and expected production of between 700,000 to 800,000 tons this year. An increase in cash cost per ton of finished product has been estimated for the 2021 financial year of between $180 to $196/t compared to previous guidance of between $162 and $182/t.

Despite lower than expected production for the six months ended June 30, Kenmare announced a $2.31 cents per share interim dividend.

Commenting on market conditions in August, Kenmare MD, Michael Carvill, said there was no immediate evidence of economic slowdown in terms of ilmenite pricing. “The market has been incredibly resilient. We have not yet encountered a softening in prices. Western consumers are operating at lower utilisations, so I expect a reduction in pricing will come through,” he said.