30/04/2021 - 21:07

Image achieves record mineral sands production in WA

30/04/2021 - 21:07

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ASX-listed Image Resources has chalked up record quarterly production numbers at its mineral sands mine about 80km north of Perth. The company says it churned out 85,200 tonnes of product for the March quarter at its zircon-rich Boonanarring mineral sands operation. The Perth-based company says the all-in sustaining costs of Boonanarring product sold also came in below the lower end of its guidance range for this year.

Mining at Image Resources Boonanarring heavy mineral sand operation, north of Perth in WA. Credit: File

ASX-listed Image Resources has chalked up record quarterly production numbers at its mineral sands mine about 80km north of Perth.  The company says it churned out 85,200 tonnes of product for the March quarter at its zircon-rich Boonanarring mineral sands operation. The Perth-based company says the all-in sustaining costs of Boonanarring product sold also came in below the lower end of its guidance range for this year.

Free cash flows generated from the two-year-old Boonanarring mine in the North Perth Basin reached an impressive $21.2 million for the March quarter.

Significantly, Image became debt free during the quarter too with the early repayment of $18 million in outstanding debt which still saw it finish the quarter with a whopping $50.8 million in the bank.

The WA mineral sands miner also declared an inaugural dividend of two cents a share in the wake of its impressive net profit of $24.8 million for the 2020 calendar year.

Image processed 882,000 tonnes of ore at Boonanarring for the March quarter which led to the 85,200 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate produced, an increase of some nine per cent on the previous quarter and an outperformance of the company’s market guidance for the year.

Bolstered by the record quarterly performance, all-in sustaining costs of heavy mineral concentrate production averaged $320 per tonne, a 22 per cent improvement on the previous quarter.

Processed ore for the March quarter averaged a head grade of 10.1 per cent heavy minerals, which was 15 per cent higher than the previous quarter and a key driver of the reduced all-in sustaining costs of production.

The company realised an average price for the Boonanarring product sold of $466 per tonne for the quarter, down 11 per cent on the previous quarter due mainly to lower average zirconium dioxide content in the heavy mineral concentrate.

Image says it continues to see strong demand for its heavy mineral concentrate from its offtake partners and potential new customers.

According to the the $169 million market-capped company, recent increases in zirconium dioxide and titanium dioxide commodity prices are expected to improve average realised prices for Boonanarring heavy mineral concentrate in the current quarter.

Image Resources Managing Director, Patrick Mutz said: “The achievement of two major milestones (debt repayment and maiden dividend) strongly supports Image’s transition to a mid-tier mining company.”

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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