Mozambique Mining: Syrah Resources Balama New plant lowers 2018 guidance

Syrah Graphite November-Bags-of-productA ramp-up review of the Balama project, in Mozambique, has seen graphite producer Syrah Resources adjust its full year production expectations.

The company on Monday said that its new COO Julio Costa’s review had identified graphite recovery performance improvement actions, focused on stable plant flows, increased plant use, and the governance of operating practices to improve process control.

Post the review, Syrah revised its full year production targets to between 135 000 t and 145 000 t of graphite, down from the initial target of 160 000 t, while C1 cash operating costs have been forecast at between $430/t to $450/t, compared with the previous guidance of $400/t.

During the three months to June, the Balama project produced 21 200 t of graphite, compared with the 11 200 t produced in the first quarter.

Syrah told shareholders that mining activities and steady state ore mining at Balama continued to perform well during the June quarter, with some 249 000 t of ore mined, and total material movement slightly ahead of plan.

The mill feed of 258 000 t and the feed grade of 16% were in line with the plan, while the filtration, drying, screening and bagging lines were also performing well, with optimisation continuing as volumes increased.

With a detailed improvement plan now in place, linked to production ramp-up milestones, the average daily production at the Balama operation has increased by 39% post the quarter end, compared with the June quarter, and was on track to achieve some 10 000 t for the month of July.

The Balama operation is forecast to be cash flow positive from late 2018.

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