Kwale performance keeps up – Base

Mineral sands miner Base Resources has reported another solid quarter from its Kwale project, in Kenya, with heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production up 24% over the previous quarter, from 166 000 t to 206 000 t.

The miner said on Friday that a focus on debottlenecking the wet processing plant’s capacity had enabled a higher throughput, which, in turn, had allowed for a higher HMC production.

However, the mineral separation plant saw a 3% decline in throughput during the quarter under review, reaching only 160 000 t, owing to a combination of marginally lower availability and a lower number of days in the quarter.

During the quarter, Base produced 105 753 t of ilmenite, which was in line with the 107 893 t produced in the previous quarter. Rutile production was also in line with the previous quarter, reaching 16 754 t, compared with the 18 672 t produced in the December quarter, while zircon production was 5 414 t, compared with the 5 308 t produced in the December quarter.

Base told shareholders that with the aim of maximizing overall zircon recoveries and revenue, the company was progressing with its plans to upgrade nonmagnetic tailings streams to produce a saleable zircon low-grade product, on an ongoing basis.

This process would likely be implemented in the June quarter of this year, and sales contracts had already been executed for an existing stockpile of zircon concentrate, produced in the early stages of ramp-up, for sale and delivery next quarter.

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