BINDURA Nickel Corporation’s Trojan Mine smelter is now expected to resume operations in the second half of this year instead of the first half of the year, as initially planned.
BNC’s alternative investment market listed parent, Mwana Africa, indicated in a presentation at a Mining Indaba in Cape Town that the smelter will be restarted later this year.
No explanation was immediately available, but it appeared the group needs more time to mobilise funding required for the restart of programme amounting to about $26,5 million.
BNC late last year floated a $20 million bond, which was initially set to close last month, but was extended to the 27th of this month to give investor more time on facility.
An excerpt from a presentation by Mwana Africa at the Mining Indaba held in Cape Town, South Africa says “the smelter re-start is scheduled for second half of financial year 2016″.
Mwana revealed in June last year that the Trojan smelter was likely to resume operations in the first half of 2015.
This would enable BNC to produce a nickel leach alloy that is expected to improve achievable nickel price and result in lower operating costs.
Benefits of the smelter restart include improved playability, profitability, less penalties on content impurities, lower transport costs and compliance with State’s beneficiation thrust.
As such, a $20 million redeemable bond with prescribed and liquid asset status is being raised with the bond fully amortised over three years with a $16 500/tonne nickel price.
BNC milled 153 000 tonnes in quarter to March 2014, 148 000 tonnes in the quarter to June 2014, 161 000 tonnes in the quarter to September 2014 and 148 000 tonnes in the last to December 2014.
Nickel sales came in at 2 200 tonnes in the first quarter, 1 800 tonnes in the second quarter, 2 000 tonnes in the third quarter and about 1 300 tonnes in the last quarter of financial year to December 2014.
Head grades achieved in the periods under review were 1,6 percent in the first quarter, 1,5 percent in the second and third quarters and 1,1 percent in the last quarter.
BNC achieved C1 cash cost of $11 333, $13 750, $13 900, $16 214 and C3 all-in sustaining cost $12 220, $14 776, $14 566, $17 039 for the respective periods under review.
Mwana is targeting revenue of $85 million in the first half of 2015, $18,6 million operating profit and net profit of $7,7 million.
FY14 revenue was $142 million, operating profit at $27 million and net profit was $51 million.