Bindura Nickel in its Abridged Unaudited Group Financial Results 2019 for the Half-year ended 30 September 2019 shows that nickel production decreased to 2 943 tonnes, which was 4% lower than last year’s output of 3 076 tonnes.
Board Chairman Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda says the decline was in line with the lower ore grade achieved, year on year.
“Ore mined during the 6 months to 30 September 2019 was 215 338 tonnes while ore milled was 215 728 tonnes. Head grade was 1.34% which was lower than the year-end figure of 1.64%,” Masunda says.
The decrease is a reflection of the mining mix whereby more of disseminated ore was mined than the massives. Recovery was 86.1%, compared to 86.3% achieved as at 31 March 2019.”
Despite the decrease in production, Bindura Nickel sold 3 002 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, compared to 2 980 tonnes sold in the comparative period last year.
“An average nickel price of US$9 052 per tonne was realised for the sale of Nickel in concentrate, compared to US$9 001 per tonne achieved in the same period last year. This translated to a turnover for the half-year of US$28.3 million (2018: US$26.2 million). The cost of sales of US$16.3 million was 10% lower than the comparative figure in the prior year of US$18.0 million,” Masunda says.
“Gross profit improved by 47% to US$12.0 million versus the prior year’s achievement of US$8.2 million. The Company realised a profit and total comprehensive income of US$6.6 million, compared to US$2.8 million in the prior year,” Masunda went on.
“The improvement of 136% was anchored on exchange gains and a decrease in the cost of sales which, in turn, was attributable to the ongoing efforts to contain costs as demonstrated by the decrease in cash costs, year on year.”
Nickel prices remained subdued into the year due to weak stainless steel demand, overstocking and the lack of real demand in class 1 nickel in the automotive industry according to Bindura Nickel board chairman.
“Prices were given a boost above US$18 000 per tonne after the Indonesian government announced that it would bring forward the raw ore exports ban to 1 January 2020 from 1 January 2022. Indonesian ore feeds into nickel pig iron (NPI) production in China,”