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.
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.
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.