Listed nickel miner, Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) is targeting to increase output by more than half to 10 000 tonnes of nickel per annum, Business Times can report.
Currently, BNC is producing about 5 500 tonnes of nickel concentrate a year from it’s only operating unit, Trojan Nickel Mine.
BNC, however, has other nickel resources across the country, including Shangani Mine, Hunters Road project, Damba-Silwane and the Kingstone Hill project, with a combined resource amounting to 71.4m tonnes of ore.
“BNC’s long-term goal is to produce 10 000 tonnes of nickel per annum,” board chairman Muchadeyi Masunda said.
He added: “To support the strategic direction, the company will ramp up development from 3 330 to 8 000 metres per annum in order to attain and then sustain the production of 10 000 tonnes of nickel per annum.
“In order to extend the current BNC ore resource, exploration work will be carried out at Trojan Nickel Mine and near-mine sources such as Trojan Hill and Kingstone Hill, in addition to Hunter’s Road and Damba Silwane.”
In its financial results for the 12 months to March 31, 2021, revenue increased 13% to US$59.2m in the period under review from US$52.4m reported in prior year.
Cost of sales increased by 19% to US$44.9m from US$37.7m in the prior comparative period due to disparities between the auction exchange rates and the exchange rates that suppliers use in their pricing models, as well as the high cost of maintaining the aged mobile mine plant and equipment.
Profit for the group rose 97% to US$1.7m from US$0.89m recorded in the prior comparative period.
Production decreased 6% to 5 363 tonnes from 5 721 tonnes in 2020.
Ore milled was 411 754 tonnes, compared to 434 077 tonnes milled in the previous year. The 5% decrease was due to a loss in production, emanating from the pre-planned shutdown, running from the beginning of March to the end of April 2021, to facilitate commissioning of the Redeepening and Tie-in Project. Head grade, at 1.52%, was marginally lower than the 1.53% achieved in the prior year.
Recovery decreased from 86.3% to 85.9%, in sympathy with the lower grade.
Sales for the year under review went down 3% to 5 496 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, from 5 685 tonnes sold during the prior year.
The nickel London Metal Exchange cash settlement price for the year rose by 7%, compared to the prior year, to US$14 998.76 per tonne.