Syrah Resources Balama project catches fire

Balama at dawn. Image: Syrah Resources

A fire has occurred at Syrah Resources’ Balama graphite operation, less than a week since the project received approvals from the Mozambique Government.

The fire initiated in its processing equipment during hot work activities in piping maintenance.

It started below the primary classifier unit and affected its related pipe and electrical cabling.

Syrah Resources has confirmed that no structural damage was incurred beyond this point.

While the onsite emergency services team had quickly put out the fire, operations in all other sections of the plant were halted according to company procedures. There were no injuries due to the fire.

The plant’s primary classifier was rendered inoperable, which incurred a total repair cost, including a unit replacement, of $US500,000 ($704,000). The equipment distributes and separates different milled material from the scrubber.

This will set production back at Balama to five weeks, with a production loss estimated to be around 30 kilotonnes (kt) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

While minor impacts will only affect the company’s near-term sales profile, production forecast for the fourth quarter has been cut down to 30-35kt, amounting to a reduced full-year production guidance of 101-106kt. Mining, crushing and shipping activities will continue during this period.

The Balama project is in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique.

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