Kenmare Resources, the company that mines heavy sands in Mozambique, announced last week that it will produce half of its projected 2023 ilmenite due to weather-related breakdowns in the north of the country, Lusa reports.
“While Kenmare is working hard to recover lost production of Heavy Mineral Concentrate, production of ilmenite and rutile is now expected to be towards the lower half of the guidance range for 2023,” a company statement distributed last week said.
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Kenmare had set a target for 2023 ilmenite production within the range of 1,050,000 to 1,150,000 tonnes, after achieving 1,088,300 tonnes the previous year, according to data advanced in January by the company.
At issue is the impact of breakdowns caused by a lightning “of unusually high intensity” which struck power lines near the mine in early February, cutting two of the powerline conductors , withthe the energy discharged overwhelming the mine’s lightning protection systems and damaging at least two of the power line conductors, as well as other electronic equipment at the mine.
”This was a highly unusual event, which has not previously occurred in Kenmare’s 15 years of operations. Mining operations were severely disrupted while repairs were carried out,” the company indicates.
“Kenmare is working to establish and mitigate the capital and operating cost impacts of the disruptions,” the note adds.
Kenmare is one of the world’s largest producers of mineral sands, listed on the London and Dublin stock exchanges, with production from Moma in Nampula province, northern Mozambique, accounting for approximately 8% of global titanium raw materials.
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The company supplies customers operating in more than 15 countries who use the heavy minerals in paints, plastics and ceramics.