Aug. 1 -- Metals X reported that production at its 50% owned Renison mine in Tasmania increased slightly in the quarter to end-June, but the company is looking for significant further improvements in the second half of the year. The operation produced 1,333 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate in the latest quarter, 7% higher than in the previous period, but still 20% lower than in the second quarter of 2010 (when mill feed was being supplemented by ore from the now-closed Mt Bischoff mine).
In a statement Metals X said “mine production continues to be constrained by contractor underperformance and equipment availability. A full review of the operations has been undertaken and the issues are being addressed to ensure the expected performance is achieved.” A move into production from the higher grade Renison North lode is expected to boost productivity from the end of the current quarter.
The Renison tin concentrator operated at 85% of capacity in the quarter due to limited ore supply, although the head grade rose from 1.49% Sn to 1.78% Sn. The copper circuit also produced 124 tonnes of copper in concentrate and copper production is forecast to rise to an annual rate of 1,200 – 1,500 tpy in 2012. Copper and silver by-product revenues are expected to reduce overall tin production costs by A$500 to A$1,000/tonne of tin produced. The cash operating cost for the quarter was A$16,300/tonne up from the previous quarter’s figure of A$15,003/tonne “as a result of increased marketing and sales costs which had not been previously accounted for.” Renison generated cash flow (EBITDA) of A$15.86 million in the quarter, nearly half of which was re-invested in mine exploration and development.