Mwana's Zim ops in mixed performance

HARARE - AIM-listed Mwana Africa Plc (Mwana) says its Zimbabwean operations, Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) and gold miner Freda Rebecca (Freda), registered a mixed performance in the quarter ending June 2014.

The group’s chief executive Kalaa Mpinga said BNC’s nickel production slumped by 14 percent to 1 902 tonnes during the period under review while gold production increased marginally by one percent to 13 503 ounces from 13 380 ounces.

“This quarter was mixed as various modifications intended to improve efficiency at Freda and Trojan Nickel (BNC’s subsidiary) have been undertaken and the result of these changes will not be reflected until our Q2 update,” he said.

He said the modifications resulted in low mill availability at Freda while at Trojan Nickel, mobile equipment was taken out of commission for refurbishing thereby impacting production.

“All the work undertaken was necessary as part of the equipment rebuild to pave the way for ramping up in second quarter at Trojan Nickel and improved mill efficiency at Freda which puts both mines in a stronger position for second quarter,” he said.

During the period under review, Freda registered an eight percent rise in head grade to 2,07 grammes per tonne from 1,91 grammes per tonne in the previous quarter.

Mpinga noted that the improvement in head grade was as a result of improvements in main production block feed grade.

The gold operations’ recovery was 6,2 percent lower at 76,8 percent from 83 percent due to temporary power supply failures at two absorption tanks.

Cash operating costs rose by two percent to $1 078 per ounce from $1 053 while there was a four percent drop in all-in-sustaining costs to $1 283 per ounce from $1 324 per ounce.

Freda also experienced a slight improvement in average gold price received to $1 310 per ounce from $1 302 per ounce in preceding period.

BNC’s nickel sales volumes were 17 percent lower at 1 871 tonnes from 2 250 tonnes.

Cash costs rose by 21 percent to $13 750 per tonne from $11 333 per tonne while all-in-sustaining costs went up 29 percent to $15 750 per tonne from $12 220 per tonne as a result of lower production and refurbishment of equipment.

Mpinga said the group was in the process of reclassifying the resource at its Democratic Republic of Congo-based Zani-Kodo Mine.

Overall,he said the group looks forward to benefiting from operational improvements undertaken.

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