Power outages reduce BNC mining and milling tonnage

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  • Mined and milled tonnage 10% low in Q3
  • Nickel concentrates production increased by 5% year on year
  • Profit after tax grew by 76% in the nine months period

Harare – Listed Nickel miner Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) recorded a 10% decline in mined and milled tonnage in the third quarter ended 31 December 2019 compared to the previous quarter.

In an operational update BNC said, “Mined and milled tonnage was 10% lower than the tonnage and milled in the corresponding quarter in the prior year respectively.”

The company attributed the lower performance to equipment breakdowns coupled with the disruptive effect that load shedding had on production.

However, production of nickel concentrates increased by 5% year on year despite the lower output. According to the company the increase was driven by the improvement in head grade (13%) and recovery (2%) in the third quarter.

The average price for nickel in concentrate increased to US$ 9 985 which was in line with improved global nickel prices year on year.

During the period under review Development lagged behind Mining resulting in a 3% decline due to the low availability of LHDS and dump trucks.

BNC added that “The mine continued with a review of its business plan, including its focus on enhancing the performance of mining and production equipment through improved uptime and utilisation.

“Focus was also on the availability of mineral resources and the effectiveness of systems and structures, with a view to the continual improvement of overall performance. To that end, new LHDs and dump trucks were added to the mining fleet.”

The all-in sustaining (C3) cost of nickel in concentrate increased by 26% to US$7 650 per tonne from US$6 068 in the previous quarter mainly due to the local inputs that were exorbitantly priced subsequent to the liberalisation of the exchange rate during the early part of 2019.

In line with the year on year improvement in nickel price per tonne profit after tax grew by 76% in the nine months period to 31 December 2019, also attributable to exchange gains recorded following the introduction of new currency during the current period. Equity Axis News

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