Kenmare Resources plc has just released an update following the relocation of Wet Concentrator Plant B to Pilivili, Mozambique, in late October 2020.
“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,” said Michael Carvill, Managing Director.
“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.”
According to the update, 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 from Pilivili to the Mineral Separation Plant.
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, the company said.
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.