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Sierra Rutile hits another production record

The Sierra Leone-based mineral sands miner produced 38,787 tonnes of rutile
Sierra Rutile hits another production record
Titanium metal will continue to be a high growth area, the company believes.

Sierra Rutile (LON:SRX) achieved another production record as output in its latest quarter rose by 25% compared to a year ago.

The Sierra Leone-based mineral sands miner produced 38,787 tonnes of rutile and 10,484 tonnes of ilmenite in the three months to December even though it deliberately slowed production in the final month to avoid holding excess working capital.

It meant the company hitting the upper end of its guidance for the year at 126,021 tonnes of rutile, 10% ahead of 2014, 

Prices also held up better than many other commodities, it said, at 3% below 2014’s average.

Annual production was the highest since its operations restarted in 2006 and this additional output had a beneficial effect on costs.

Cash costs in 2015 were US$537/t for 2015 and US$666/t on an all-in sustaining basis.

Sierra Rutile expects production to rise again in 2016 especially as its new Gangama Dry Mine remains on schedule for commissioning in the first half of the year.

Natural rutile is a key source of titanium and 80% of maximum targeted sales volumes are already contracted for 2016.

Demand from the titanium metal industry grew in 2015 and is anticipated to continue to grow in 2016 as the titanium dioxide pigment market recovers.

Titanium metal will continue to be a high growth area, the company believes.

John Sisay chief executive, said: "We are very pleased to record the highest quarter of rutile production and the highest annual production since the operation was restarted in 2006.

“Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free in November 2015 and we are proud to have achieved this result during a difficult backdrop.“

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November 03 2016
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