Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) has said it produced a net attributable 482.5 metric tons of vanadium (mtV) in the form of Nitrovan during the first quarter of 2020, marginally ahead of production in the corresponding period a year ago, with this quarter affected by shut-downs related to the coronavirus.
In an operational update, the company also noted that it booked sales of 898 mtV, or 664.5 mtV 74% net attributable. Underlying production costs rang in at US$18.90 per kilogramme, an 8% decrease relative to the first quarter of 2019, supported by a weaker ZAR/USD exchange rate.
The company said it has completed its annual maintenance programme early. This was initially planned for the second quarter of 2020. No further maintenance shutdowns are planned for the remainder of 2020, it added.
In line with the South African government's "risk-adjusted strategy for economic activity", following a 35 days, production is now ramping up to normal levels, Bushveld said.
On October 30, 2019, Bushveld secured ZAR375mln in facilities from Nedbank, comprised of a ZAR125mln revolving credit facility (RCF) and a ZAR250mln term loan, which was drawn down at the time.
The company drew down the remaining RCF of ZAR125mln at the end of March 2020 to enhance liquidity and provide financial flexibility during this uncertain environment.
Overall, the company’s unaudited gross cash and cash equivalent position as at December 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020 was US$34mln and US$34.4mln, respectively.
It said 2020 production and cost guidance for both its Vanchem and Vametco operations remain under review and will remain so until the company is in a position to quantify the impact of the coronavirus and the South African nationwide lockdown.