Base reports strong finish to financial year
Mining News Pro - Mineral sands miner Base Resources has reported higher revenues and higher net profit after tax for the financial year ended June, despite a fall in production.

Net profits after tax for the full year increased from the $39.2-million reported in 2019, to $39.6-million, with sales revenue for the full year reported at $208-million.

Ilmenite production for the full year was down 12%, to 355 093 t, while rutile production decreased by 15% on 2019 figures to 78 920 t, and zircon production was down 15%, to 31 657 t.

Base told shareholders on Monday that its Kwale operation, in Kenya, maintained operational continuity during the full year under review, adapting smoothly for the Covid-19 pandemic, and achieving the upper-end of the production guidance.

Grades achieved during the full year declined slightly as mining transitioned from the Central dune to the South dune, resulting in the decrease in production figures.

“As the current engine of our business, extending mine life at Kwale is a priority and commencement of a prefeasibility study for mining of the North dune, which should be completed in early 2021, was significant in these efforts,” said MD Tim Carstens.

Meanwhile, Carstens noted that the Toliara project also continues to progress, with a definitive feasibility study released in December last year, marking a significant milestone and confirming the project’s status as one of the best mineral sands development opportunities in the world.

“On-ground activities remain suspended as we continue to engage with the government of Madagascar in relation to the fiscal terms applicable to the Toliara project. While progress has been encouraging, discussions have been limited as the government focuses on managing its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Carstens said that with the effective shutdown of the government, international travel restrictions and broader Covid-19 measures and impacts both in Madagascar and globally, a final investment decision for Toliara has been delayed and is unlikely to occur before September 2021.

The Stage 1 Toliara project is expected to cost $442-million to establish a 13-million-tonne-a-year processing operation.

The Stage 2 operation would see the operation increase to 19-million tonnes a year, at an additional cost of $69-million.

Over the initial 33-year mine life, the Toliara operation is expected to produce an average of 780 000 t/y of ilmenite, 53 000 t/y of zircon and a further 7 000 t/y of rutile, generating annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $164.3-million.

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