The company said the transformation programme at Vemetco is successfully delivering higher production rates with the second quarter seeing the highest quarterly production rate in more than two years.
Production in the second quarter was 742 tonnes of vanadium, which was 14% higher than the 649 tonnes produced in the first quarter and up 18% on the same quarter of 2018.
Production in the first half of the year was 1,392 tonnes, which was up 2% year-on-year.
The company left its full-year guidance range of 2,8000 to 2,900 tonnes unchanged.
The unit production cost in the first half of the year improved by 14% to US$17.40 per kilogram from US$20.20 in the same period of last year, as a result of the weaker rand against the dollar, higher volumes and cost reductions. Full-year guidance of production costs also remained unchanged.
Vametco’s half-year revenue eased to US$74.3mln from US$81.2mln the year before but earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to US$48.6mln from US$42.4mln the year before.
At current vanadium prices Vametco remains cash flow positive, Bushveld asserted.
In the Bushveld Energy division, the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed plant in East London, South Africa has passed the public participation stage and is on track to be completed this year.
The first batch of electrolyte has been successfully produced using Vametco's feedstock, with the samples being sent to vanadium battery companies for testing.
On the corporate front, Bushveld said the application for the listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange will now occur in 2020. The revised timing is due to the completion of the Vanchem acquisition, which is now scheduled to occur on 31 October 2019.
"We are pleased to report that we are on course to meet Vametco's production guidance of 2,800 mtV [tonnes of vanadium] to 2,900 mtV for the 2019 calendar year, with several further productivity initiatives to be implemented during the course of H2 [second half] 2019, from where we can continue to build towards our target of 3,400mtV per annum during the course of 2020,” said Fortune Mojapelo, the chief executive officer of Bushveld.
The company revealed it has successfully completed the wage and benefits negotiations with the Association of Minerals Workers and Construction Union for the three-year period starting 1 July 2019.
“We continue to work on finalising an employee share ownership participation structure, which will allow our workforce to share in the success of the company,” Mojapelo said.