Kenmare Resources says the relocation of Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) B at its Moma titanium minerals mine, in northern Mozambique, is underway.
Kenmare previously announced three development projects that together have the objective of increasing annual ilmenite production to 1.2 Mt (plus co-products) on a sustainable basis from 2021, with the move of WCP B to the high grade Pilivili ore zone is the final project.
The increased production is expected to significantly lower cash operating costs to between $125-$135/t (in 2020 real terms). Consequently, from 2021 the group expects to be positioned in the first quartile of the industry revenue to cost (or margin) curve, supporting stronger free cash flow generation and providing for increased shareholder returns, it said.
WCP B, consisting of a 1,700 t floating dredge and a 7,000 t WCP, is being moved 23 km from its previous mining area at Namalope to a new high-grade ore zone called Pilivili. It is being transported along a purpose-built road using platform vehicles called self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The relocation of WCP B and its dredge are being undertaken by Mammoet.
Mining at Namalope completed in late August. The WCP and its associated dredge have now been successfully placed on the concrete plinths in the relocation pond and the pond has been dewatered. The dredge and the WCP are to be moved in two stages. The first stage involves the movement of the dredge – this is now underway and expected to be completed this week. Once the dredge has been relocated to Pilivili, the SPMTs will return to Namalope to transport the WCP along the same route. The physical relocation is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
Michael Carvill, Managing Director of Kenmare, said: “The relocation of WCP B and its dredge form the third and final project of our development program to increase Moma’s ilmenite production to 1.2 Mt per annum on a sustainable basis. Once WCP B and the dredge reach Pilivili we will begin the process of re-establishing them in their new location and we expect mining to commence at Pilivili during Q4 (December quarter) 2020. I look forward to providing further updates as the project progresses.”