Panoramic struggles to meet ore production targets

The Savannah mine. Image: Panoramic Resources.

Panoramic Resources has failed to reach its forecast ore output at the Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project in Western Australia over the past two months following a much-improved June quarter.

The company’s average monthly ore production for July and August was approximately 46,000 tonnes, which fell below a budget of 60,000 tonnes.

Panoramic attributed the cause of low performance to a localised seismic event in July (that reduced availability of some high-grade stopes and caused ground stress issues), additional rehabilitation of access drives, reduced remote bogger availability, and intermittent manning issues.

Panoramic has lowered its production forecast for the remainder of the 2020 financial year to 9500–10,000 tonnes of nickel, 5800–6000 tonnes of copper, and 600–650 tonnes of cobalt.

Since May, high nickel prices have increased sales revenue for the company.

Panoramic expects to mine development ore from Savannah North in November and produce from stopes in March 2020.

Its mining rates will increase when Savannah North is active, with nickel and cobalt grades improving to reflect the higher grades of the Savannah North ore reserve compared with the remnant Savannah orebody.

The company reported improvements in safety, concentrate shipments, production and development rates, equipment, processing, metal production, access development, and ventilation rise.

Panoramic aims to improve its mining operations by refurbishing or replacing underperforming mobile equipment, expanding the waste rock disposal underground and cementing rock fill into open stopes, and reviewing its mining schedule to determine ability to increase production from Savannah North.

The company’s $40 million loan from Macquarie Bank has been halved, requiring funding through equity raising.

Panoramic is still looking to fill remaining vacancies in its permanent workforce, including a technical services superintendent, after facing challenges in attracting and retaining personnel since the start of this year.

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