Mining efficiencies increased during May at the Tshipi Borwa mine, making it the highest in the mine’s history, majority stakeholder Jupiter Mines reports.
Overall production volumes for both high- and low-grade ore were above target at Tshipi, with further low-grade ore produced to meet the logistics plan for May.
Tshipi, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, is an openpit manganese mine and is operated by Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining, in which ASX-listed Jupiter has a 49.9% beneficial interest.
Exports are ahead of plan for the quarter ended May 31, Jupiter CEO Priyank Thapliyal says.
During the quarter, 3.9-million bank cubic metres (BCM) of volumes were mined, with more than one-million tonnes of ore produced.
These results were achieved despite excessive rain having continued into early March. However, pit dewatering was successfully completed to enable increased ore mining.
Overall mining volumes for the quarter were behind target, as a result of further poor efficiencies in the mining process, Jupiter says, adding that a comprehensive mining efficiency project has been undertaken and is resulting in some improvement.
Tshipi’s cost of production for the quarter for its high-grade lumpy ore was R32.66 per dry metric tonne unit.
Shipping volumes were also ahead of plan with an unplanned vessel of low-grade fines having been railed in April and exported in May, Jupiter says.
Overall, Jupiter’s net consolidated cash balance decreased from $65.6-million to $24-million during the quarter, after Jupiter paid its final dividend for the financial year ended February 28.
Jupiter’s attributable cash (including its share of Tshipi cash) was $51.4-million at the end of the May quarter, calculated as the net consolidated cash above and Jupiter’s 49.9% share of Tshipi’s cash balance.