Image Resources has noted softening demand for heavy mineral concentrate in May after completing its sale as planned a month prior.
The company sold 25,000 wet tonnes of HMC in April, with the sales dropping to a single shipment of 10,000 tonnes in May.
This was attributed to a decline in demand for mineral sand commodities and final products in China, driving growing inventories.
Image is confident that this is only temporary, with its guidance for 2020 unchanged at 300,000–330,000 tonnes.
It expects sales volumes to be weighted towards the second half of the year.
“Preliminary discussions for proposed sales in June-July, with offtake partner Natfort and a number of potential new buyers, provides Image with optimism that the current market uncertainty may only be temporary,” Image stated.
Image has continued its mining and ore processing operations at the Boonanarring mineral sands project in Western Australia as scheduled, with minimal impact from COVID-19 restrictions.
The company also progressed its exploration in and around Boonanarring without significant interruption from the pandemic.
Image aims to add two years of new ore reserves before the end of the year.
Image managing director and chief executive Patrick Mutz said the company was fortunate to have been spared any significant negative effects on production and exploration activities from the coronavirus.
“Local travel restrictions are already being relaxed, our corporate office staff have returned to working from the office and we are looking forward to working in a new normal,” he said.
Image commenced HMC production at Boonanarring in December 2018 and ramped up to exceed its nameplate capacity in January last year.