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Base Resources buoyed by surge in zircon price

Base has also secured significant price rises on its zircon contracts for the current (March) quarter
Mineral sands are the main source of titanium dioxide

Supply shortages helped Aussie-based mineral sands miner Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE) achieve record prices for its spread of base metals.

Base produces ilmenite, zircon and rutile from the Kwale mine in Kenya and a combination of two bulk rutile sales and higher zircon prices increased the average revenue per tonne to a record US$323 per tonne (US$271) in the three months to December.

READ: Bank of America returns in a big way to the Base Resources share register

Base added it has also secured significant price rises on its zircon contracts for the current (March) quarter.

“Operationally, the quarter was characterised by consistent production and continuing improvement in zircon markets, variable ilmenite prices and a positive outlook for rutile,” said the company.

Mined tonnage in the previous in the quarter was down slightly at 2.9mln tonnes due to disruptions from the Kenyan elections, though tonnages produced of all three metals were little changed.

Base also tweaked its guidance for the current year higher, largely due to higher grades of ilmenite.

READ: Base to acquire Toliara Sands project in Madagascar, raises US$100 mln

Kwale’s strong performance generated significant cash flow, which cut debt by US$21mln to US$65.6mln.

Last month, Base agreed the acquisition of the sizeable Toliara Sands Project in Madagascar, which it accompanied with an A$100mln fund raise.

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