Kenmare Resources plc (LSE:KMR, ISE:KMR), one of the leading global producers of titanium minerals and zircon, which operates the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine in northern Mozambique, is pleased to provide an update following the relocation of Wet Concentrator Plant (“WCP”) B, to Pilivili, in late October 2020.
Statement from Michael Carvill, Managing Director:
“The ramp-up of WCP B is progressing well, having been operating for more than a month, and production is in line with expectations. The temporary measures we implemented to mitigate project delays, caused by global COVID-19 restrictions, have been effective. We expect operations at Pilivili to be running on grid power before the end of the year, while the Heavy Mineral Concentrate pumping system is to begin commissioning in Q1 2021.
It’s been encouraging to see that spot prices for ilmenite, our primary product, have increased strongly in Q4, after a marginal softening in Q3. Higher production and lower unit costs, coupled with a robust commodity market, will help to support higher capital returns for shareholders from 2021.”
WCP B has experienced a smooth ramp-up in Pilivili, following the previously announced commencement of production in late October 2020. Production has been in line with expectations and ore grades have been significantly higher than the grades previously being mined in Namalope, as anticipated. The temporary measures put in place to allow mining to commence have been operating successfully. These involved powering WCP B with diesel-powered electric generators and trucking Heavy Mineral Concentrate (“HMC”) from Pilivili to the Mineral Separation Plant (“MSP”).
With installation of the powerline completed in mid-November 2020 and the installation of the electrical substations anticipated to be completed shortly, operations at Pilivili are expected to be grid powered from mid-December 2020.
Kenmare is on track to begin the commissioning and ramp-up of the HMC pumping system during Q1 2021. The pumps have been installed on the infrastructure terrace and the final parts of the pipeline are expected to be delivered to site in late January 2021.
The MSP has previously achieved a monthly run-rate of 1.2 million tonnes of ilmenite per annum on a short-term basis, but Kenmare’s focus is now on operating at this targeted run-rate consistently. In recent years operations have been constrained by HMC production volumes, but with increased HMC production, supported by the move to Pilivili and the commencement of production from WCP C in February 2020, a greater emphasis is being placed on operational resilience. During H2 2020, additional separation capacity has been installed at the ilmenite circuits, while construction of a 25% increase in product storage is also underway.
The ilmenite product market has been robust in Q4 2020, supported by strong pigment demand and lower ilmenite production, particularly in China. These markets dynamics are supportive of Kenmare’s plans to increase supply in 2021, helping to meet global demand.
For further information, please contact:
Kenmare Resources plc
Jeremy Dibb / Katharine Sutton
Tel: +353 1 671 0411
Mob: + 353 87 943 0367 / + 353 87 663 0875
Murray (PR advisor)
Tel: +353 1 498 0300
Mob: +353 87 690 9735