Zimbabwe units lead Mwana Africa all round production improvement

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By Zimbabwe Investor on April 22, 2014. No Comments

Mwana Africa (LON:MWA) unveiled a “generally improved performance” across the range of operations in the quarter ended last month.

In Zimbabwe, both the Freda Rebecca Gold Mine and the Bindura Nickel Corporation saw increases in production that will help boost the top and bottom line.

In the case of the former, output was up 2% at 13,380 ounces of the precious metal, while the average grade increased to 1.91 grams per tonne. Cash operating costs fell to US$1,053 an ounce from US$1,066.

Mwana said commissioning of the Freda Rebecca tailings retreatment project pilot plant is continuing.

Turning to Bindura, some 2,207 tonnes of nickel concentrate were sold in the three months under review – representing a 9.5% increase on the previous quarter. While all-sustaining costs increased to US$12,220 from US$11,819 a tonne, this was a function of the continued ramp-up of the facility and shaft “re-deepening”.

The price achieved rose 1.5% to US$14,075 a tonne.

As for diamonds in South Africa, and, in particular, the Marsfontein slimes dam at the Klipspringer Mine, Mwana production doubled to 12,383 carats which were sold at an average US$21 a carat.

On the Zani-Kodo deposit, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, resource conversion drilling is underway, while the 2014 exploration of the Semhkat copper-cobalt project, also in the DRC, is set to start.

Chief executive Kalaa Mpinga said: “I am pleased to be able to report generally improved operating performance across the group’s operations during the fourth and final quarter of the 2013 financial year.

“Both gold and nickel production increased, reflecting higher tonnage mined and milled, and diamond production from the Klipspringer Slimes Retreatment Project more than doubled quarter on quarter.

“We anticipate that at Freda Rebecca, the current focus on mining and processing efficiencies, and at BNC continued progress by Trojan Mine towards steady-state and stronger mill performance, will deliver further operational improvements for the group in the year ahead.”