Low head grade negatively impacts Mwana Africa

Low head grade negatively impacts Mwana Africa
Published: 16 February 2015
Mwana Africa's Freda Rebecca recorded a 14 percent decline in production for the third quarter ending December 2014 as the average feed grade fell 16 percent below the second quarter.

Although tonnes milled rose by 0.8 percent to 322,216 tonnes from 319,767 tonnes, total output for the period was 14,298 ounces from 16,555 ounces.

In a trading update, Mwana Africa said the main production stopes posted lower than expected grades resulting in the lower feed grade.

The group said gold recovery rate fell to 78 percent from 80 percent in the prior period as the plant had to cope with a low-quality replacement carbon batch which resulted in gold being lost through fine carbon and being passed to tailings.

Cash costs for the quarter under review increased by 27 percent to $1,118/oz from the September quarter's $880/oz as a result of the decrease in production and a 10 percent increase in operating costs.

All-in sustaining costs rose by 23 percent to $1,304/oz quarter-on-quarter from $1,061/oz in September. Royalties for the quarter were cown 37 percent due to lower gold production and to lower royalty rates introduced in October.

The group's Trojan Nickel Mine also recorded lower production as a result of fewer tonnes of ore milled, a lower head grade and reduced recoveries.

Production was 30 percent below the previous quarter at 1,383 tonnes from 1,989 tonnes in the second quarter.

Equipment taken out for an ongoing refurbishment exercise resulted in a 23 percent drop in mill head grade and recoveries were also 2 percent lower than in the previous quarter. Nickel sales were 31 percent lower quarter-on-quarter from 2,008 tonnes to 1,395 tonnes.

Cash costs and all-in sustaining costs both increased by 17 percent on a per tonne basis quarter-on-quarter as a result of the reduced nickel production.

The group also said work on the Bindura smelter re-start was ongoing with the delivery of the furnace bricks expected during fourth quarter of the year.

Mwana chief executive Kalaa Mpinga said the third quarter of the 2015 financial was a particularly challenging period.

"The nickel price decreased by 15% during the December quarter to $15,867/t (Q2 2015; US$18,592/t). Although gold's price fell to an average.
- BH24
Tags: MwanaAfrica,


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