HARARE, September 29 (The Source) – Nickel production at Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) grew by 2 percent to 1,810 tonnes in the first three months to June over the previous quarter despite a decline in mined tonnage.
BNC, a unit of ASA Resources saw mined tonnage for the period declining 23 percent to 83,351 tonnes compared to 107,604 tonnes in the quarter to March, 2017.
“During the period, mining constraints for the quarter included the lagging development and the low ore and waste movement, the latter having been caused by the low availability of LHDs and Dump Trucks,” chairman Muchadeyi Masunda told a shareholders meeting.
ASA is currently under administration, which is equivalent of judicial management in a move aimed at protecting the interest of its creditors in the wake of an approach by the British Virgin Islands registered Rich Pro Investments to acquire 100 percent of the issued share capital of Asa.
During the quarter, nickel in concentrate prices averaged $6,009 per tonne, compared to $6,675 per tonne in the previous quarter.
Nickel sales volume at 1,763 tonnes were up 8 percent on the previous quarter at 1,631 tonnes while costs rose 13 percent from $4,564 per tonne to $5,148 per tonne.
Masunda said company was also able to meet all arrear and current obligations to bondholders, amounting to $3,5 million.
He said the smelter restart project is now 83 percent complete.