Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) said it ended the first quarter on a “very strong note” with its best monthly production from its South African vanadium plant in 21 months.
During the three months ended March 31, the Vametco operation produced 649 metric tonnes of the metal, which is found in alloys used in jet engines. That was broadly in line with the same period last year.
Improvements to the operation, including mine production, scheduling, and enhancements to kiln grade, meant Vametco churned out 270 tonnes in March alone. Bushveld expects to produce 2,800-2,900 tonnes this year at a unit cost of US$18.50-US$19.50 per kilogram.
"As the company's revenue and earnings generator and thus engine for growth it is imperative that Vametco operates to its full potential,” said chief executive Fortune Mojapelo.
“It is for this reason that we initiated the transformation programme, designed to ensure that we maximise production throughput, minimise costs on the back of the improvements implemented by our motivated and fully engaged workforce.”
Bushveld also told investors an updated reserve and resource statement for Vametco, in South Africa’s North West Province, will be published once the data has been fully reviewed.
Positive results and high grades from the Brits deposit suggest it could be a future source of raw material for Vametco and concentrate feed for the company’s Vanchem operation if required. The maiden resource estimate for Brits is expected sometime this month.