Kenmare lowers ilmenite guidance as Mozambique power supply falters

MOZAMBIQUE mineral sands miner Kenmare Resources lowered its ilmenite forecast for 2022 and raised costs owing to power outages in the fourth quarter.

Ilmenite production was expected to be between 1.08 and 1.11 million tons (Mt) for the year compared to a previous forecast of 1.13 to 1.23Mt.

Production of zircon would be unchanged against previous forecasts at between 54,500 and 63,200 tons owing to its higher occurance in the heavy metals concentrate mix Kenmare produces. The guidance for rutile production was lowered to between 8,500 to 9,500 tons compared to previous expectations of 9,500 to 11,500 tons for the year.

As a result of the lower ilmenite and rutile production, total cash operating costs were expected to slightly exceed the high end of previous guidance coming in at between $190m and $210m. This was also put down to higher fuel prices.

“Production of ilmenite, our primary product, was strong in October 2022 and we maintained the 1.2Mt a year run rate we achieved in Q3. However, a recent issue in the electricity transmission grid has created unplanned power outages,” said Michael Carvill, MD of Kenmare.

Sales of heavy minerals concentrate would not be affected in the fourth quarter while prices for Kenmare’s heavy mineral production were currently strong, it said.

Kenmare said it was working with Mozambique’s state electricity provider, Electricidade de Moçambique “to identify and rectify the issues as a matter of urgency”.