Image pays down debt on back of strong mineral sands production
Just 18 months after start up at its Boonanarring mine in WA, ASX-listed mineral sands miner, Image Resources continues to hit its milestones with a third scheduled debt repayment of US$7.7m now bowled over. Image has been delivering strong production numbers at Boonanarring that routinely exceed the plant’s design specifications and it has systematically defined multiple new ore horizons around the mine that is located about 80km north of Perth in Western Australia.
Image also recently completed its latest sale of approximately 25,000 wet tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate in April as planned. The company said its May shipment is likely to carry a further 10,000 tonnes, down a little due to softening demand in the current Coronavirus-hit global economic climate.
However, Image Management remains confident in the market going forward and has maintained its current market sales guidance for the calendar year of 300-330k tonnes, despite the Coronavirus-inspired uncertainty. Image is also looking to new markets to help it maintain its sales targets.
Image is continuing to drill up a storm around the operating mine with operations largely unaffected by COVID-19 issues. It has added extensions to existing strandlines of mineral sands to the north and south of the wet processing plant and it has also added a new mineral sands-rich strandline to the west of the core trend.
The new western strand in the north-western extension area has several high-grade intersections including 4m at 10.9% heavy minerals from 11m and 3m at 18.3% heavy minerals from 13m. The eastern strand has seen even higher grades, including 4m at 23.8% heavy minerals from 10m and 4m at 27.1% heavy minerals from 8m.
Image said it will complete its drilling program this year, at its 100 per cent-owned mine, with a new mineral resource set to hit the street in the third quarter of this year. The company’s original goal was to add two more years of ore reserves before the end of 2020.
Image hasn’t really missed a beat since its mine commenced production back in December 2018. It ramped up almost straight away and exceeded its name plate capacity just two months after start-up. It achieved positive cash flows from the mine during the first quarter of 2019 and it has now delivered more than five quarters of successful operations, sales and a sizeable debt reduction.
Image Resources Managing Director and CEO, Patrick Mutz said: “Image is fortunate to have been spared any significant negative effects on production and exploration activities from the Coronavirus, thanks to the swift actions taken by the Commonwealth and State governments and regulators, and the positive actions of Image employees and contractors abiding by the various restrictions and protocols at work and in their personal daily routines. Local travel restrictions are already being relaxed, our corporate office staff have returned to working from the office and we are looking forward to working in a new normal.”
No doubt the market will be watching closely as Image tables its new resource estimate that should hit the streets later this year.
With a profitable cash producing asset, it is all about longevity now for the Perth-based miner and every resource/reserve upgrade will give it a further shot in the arm and extend the amount of time that Image’s money machine can continue to spit out cash.
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