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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
HomeBusinessBindura Banks On Low-Grade High Volume Mining Strategy

Bindura Banks On Low-Grade High Volume Mining Strategy

Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) upped its ore mined and milled during the first quarter to June thanks to the successful transition to the low-grade high volume mining strategy which has been occasioned by declining massives volumes.

In its Q1 trading update, the company however posted a loss as a result of the disproportionately high operating costs despite increased nickel prices.

“The high cost of maintaining the aged underground mining mobile equipment fleet as well as the increase in local operating costs, coupled with the lower nickel in concentrate production resulted in an increase in unit costs,” the company said.

The cash cost per tonne (“C1”) for the quarter was 58 percent up on the cost for the same period in the prior year, while the all-in-sustaining cost per tonne (“C3”) increased by 55 percent.

However, the company got a major boost in improved nickel prices during the period which saw the average London Metal Exchange (“LME”) Nickel price of $29,029 per tonne 67 percent higher than the price of $17,343 per tonne which was achieved in the comparative period in the previous year.

Ore head grade was 28 percent lower than the grade achieved in the same period last year, due to the declining massives strike length which led to a reduction in the volume of massives coupled with constraints on the rate of development due to underground mining mobile equipment challenges.

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The company hopes to offset rising operational costs by implementing the low-grade high volume mining strategy.

Tonnes ore mined for the quarter increased by 13 percent in comparison to the tonnes for the same period in the previous year mainly due to the delayed commissioning of the Re-deep Project attributable to unforeseen technical challenges.

Tonnes ore milled increased by 16 percent in comparison to the corresponding period last year.

“This marks the transition to the low-grade high volume mining strategy which has been occasioned by declining massives volumes,” the company said.

As a result, nickel in concentrate produced was 24 percent lower than for the same period last year, reflecting the lower grade of ore processed.

The price improvement was attributable to the global high demand for Nickel.

“Nickel in concentrate sales for the period was 14% lower than for the same period last year. The sales decreased due to a delay in the renewal of the off-take agreement, which expired in early March 2022.”

The company said the easing of lockdowns in China and an anticipated resultant improvement in economic activity, as well as the increasing demand for battery grade Nickel in electric vehicles will strengthen nickel prices.

 

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