Kenmare Resources expects the last three months of this year to be its strongest quarter of the year for production in 2020.
Kenmare operates the Moma Titanium minerals mine in northern Mozambique.
The increase in production follows the move of its Wet Concentrator Plant B to the Pilivili ore zone in late September, according to a trading update from the group.
“Quarter four 2020 is anticipated to be our strongest quarter of the year for production, with WCP B mining high grade ore and taking us an important step closer to our goal of producing 1.2 million tonnes per annum of ilmenite on a sustainable basis,” Michael Carvill, managing director of Kenmare Resources, said.
“It is encouraging to see pigment markets improving more quickly than expected from Covid-19-related restrictions and consequently we believe the outlook for the ilmenite market is robust in quarter four and continuing into 2021,” Mr Carvill added.
In the three months to September 30 the company had heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production of 258,000 tonnes, a 15pc decrease on the corresponding period last year.
This was in line with expectations and due primarily to WCP B temporarily ceasing production from late August onwards.
Ilmenite production, a mineral found in hundreds of items from paint to fabrics and food, of 167,900 tonnes in quarter three represented a 27pc decrease year-on-year, mainly as a result of reduced HMC consumption and a short-term reduction in ilmenite content in the HMC.
Primary zircon production of 10,900 tonnes was down 16pc due to reduced HMC consumption.
Total shipments of finished products of 118,000 tonnes represented a 39pc decrease compared to the same period last year due to improvement works on a transhipment vessel and continuing poor sea conditions.
Kenmare said the final three months of this year is expected to be the strongest quarter of the year for shipments and “has begun well.”
The company has the majority of its ilmenite sales contracted for the remainder of 2020. It added that the outlook for 2021 is “robust”, supported by “strong” Chinese demand and a recovering pigment market.
Oversupply in the zircon market continued in the three months to September 30, “however supply discipline from the major producers is slowing price declines and the medium-term fundamentals for all of Kenmare’s products remain strong,” it said.
In other exploration news, Providence Resources said that 8,181,669 warrants of 3p each have been exercised raising £245,450 (€271,093) for the company.
The warrants were issued as part of the fundraising in May by the Barryroe-focused group.