Image Resources has set a lower production target at the Boonanarring mineral sands project in Western Australia in 2021 despite hitting last year’s guidance.
The company produced 306,000 tonnes of heavy minerals concentrate (HMC) last year against a guidance of 300,000 to 330,000 tonnes.
It has now set a production guidance of 300,000-320,000 tonnes for 2021, representing a 3 per cent decline due to a forecast decline in ore grade, however at the same all-in sustaining costs target of $340 to $370 per tonne of HMC.
Image stated that it was transitioning from the “very high ore grades” from blocks A and B back to the southern section of block C.
It also noted the high AUD/USD exchange rate compared with that achieved last year, driving its anticipation for lower revenue and profitability this year.
Image managing director Patrick Mutz, however, said that the company’s achievement of its original market guidance ranges for 2020 instilled confidence in its ability to achieve guidance ranges for this year.
“(The) operating group (will) focus on improving those things it can control, such as operating costs, production and sales volumes,” he said.
Image is evaluating information regarding potential new ore reserves around Boonanarring.
The company plans to relocate its wet concentrate plant from Boonanarring to its Atlas development mine in the fourth quarter of 2022 should there be no new ore reserves that are rapidly accessible for mining.
The Atlas mineral sands project consists of a high grade open pit mine and is located 90 kilometres north of Boonanarring.