BINDURA Nickel Corporation (BNC) Trojan Mine’s production of nickel concentrate was 30% lower for the quarter ended December due to fewer tonnes of ore milled, lower head grade and reduced recoveries, a senior company official has said.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
Presenting the group’s operations and exploration update yesterday, BNC managing director Batirai Manhando said the reduced production was also due to the ongoing refurbishment programme at the mine.
“Equipment taken out for the refurbishment exercise alongside ongoing maintenance reduced resources available for mining development
which in turn restricted access to massives. This resulted in a 23% drop in mill head grade. Recoveries were 2% lower than in the September quarter as a result of the lower nickel head grade,” Manhando said.
“New mobile plant equipment has been purchased and this, together with the equipment that has been refurbished, will enable mining to start ramping up to steady state monthly targets during fourth quarter of 2015,”he said.
Manhando said in January the mine milled 39 904 tonnes of ore to produce 427 tonnes of nickel in concentrate while cash costs were $16 617 per tonne during the first two months.
The company accessed a short term overdraft of $7 million with a local financial institution which is being utilised for bridging finance for the long lead equipment.
Meanwhile BNC has received $15 million bond commitments out of the $20 million required so far, an official has said.
BNC’s financial advisor Ritesh Anand said:
“The bond has $15 million commitments and were waiting for responses from three leading banks. There is risk that the bond will be over- subscribed,” he said.
BNC requires $26,5 million to restart the smeleter and the funds would be provided through private placement and a redeemable fixed rate secure bond of $20 million and the the balance will be from internal resources.
BNC’s subsidiaries Shangani is still on care and maintenance while Bindura Smelter and Refinery Complex and the smelter is being reopened to produce high quality nickel cathodes.