Image Resources has delayed a February shipment of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) from the Boonanarring operation due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The company plans to gauge HMC interests outside of China to minimise geographical risk given the country’s uncertain economic conditions.
Image completed the sale of its HMC shipment in January, with discussions underway with offtake partners for follow-on shipments during the first quarter of this year.
The company achieved a record HMC monthly production in December last year with 31,400 tonnes, and again in January with 35,300 tonnes at the Boonanarring mineral sands project in Western Australia.
This is in line with expectations of higher ore grades forecast for mining in Block B since the relocation of mining in mid-November last year.
Image managing director Patrick Mutz said the company continued to meet its production targets at Boonanarring, which for 2020 were significantly higher than 2019 targets.
“Our efforts have been supported by substantially higher HMC production capacity following modifications to the processing plant in 2019,” Mutz said.
“These modifications have now been proven to allow HMC production at levels substantially above original plant design capacity.”
Image commenced production at Boonanarring in December 2018 and exceeded nameplate capacity in the second month of operation.
The company is accelerating exploration to extend Boonanarring’s mine life “as quickly as practicable.”
“And in response to the recent softening of the zircon market, which (was) largely offset by rising titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices, we continue to evaluate value-adding steps aimed at incrementally increasing product revenue,” Mutz concluded.