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Noventa focuses on costs as it ramps up production

Noventa focuses on costs as it ramps up production

Noventa (LON:NVTA, TSE:NTA) is focusing on reducing its costs after a quarter that saw the Mozambique-focused tantalum miner ramp up production by 23 per cent.

Reporting results for the three months to September 30, Noventa’s new chief executive officer, Fernando Fernandez-Torres, said that he was in the process of reviewing the firm’s business plan and budget for 2012 with the aim of reducing costs. Fernandez-Torres said that he is also re-evaluating the investment required to develop the firm’s Morrua asset, which boasts double the parts per million of tantalum concentrate of its existing producing mine at Marropino, “with a view to make a less intensive capital project than initially anticipated”.

During the quarter, Noventa achieved production of 38,903 pounds of tantalum pentoxide – a 23 per cent increase on Q2 2011 and more than double Q1 2011 production. For the first nine months of the year, production at its Marropino plant amounted to 86,633 pounds.

The construction of a new processing plant at Marropino is “well advanced” and only slightly behind schedule, said the firm, which expects production to ramp up to 600,000 pounds of tantalum pentoxde during 2012.

Noventa said that a previously reported water problem at Marropino has now been resolved with the installation of a pumping station and water pipeline. The solution has been tested and “will provide long term security of the process water supply irrespective of the weather conditions”.

Meanwhile, the firm has recommenced shipping to its client in Thailand using normal shipping routes. Currently, Noventa has 72,500 pounds of tantalum pentoxide ready for final blending that it anticipates will be shipped during this quarter.

The firm also announced today that it had made an annual interest saving of US$763,000 as a result of the redemption of convertible preference shares.

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