Continued operational optimization by Asian Mineral Resources (AMR) at the Ban Phuc nickel project in northern Vietnam has resulted in a further increase in process plant nickel recoveries to 86.8%, above the design target of 85%.
During the June quarter, the company produced 2,033 metric tons (mt) of nickel metal, 972 mt of copper metal and 66 mt of cobalt metal in concentrate at Ban Phuc from 111,218 mt of ore mined. Nickel production was up by 16% on the corresponding period of 2014 with copper production up by 14% and ore mined up by 11% with production being above guidance for the period.
Four product shipments were completed in the quarter for a total of 21,489 mt of dry concentrate. This was in line with company expectations and was 32% higher than in the second quarter of 2014.
The company continues to focus on cost reductions with C1 operating cash costs, including royalties and export taxes, of $4.55/lb nickel equivalent, which was below guidance. “AMR’s strong operational performance and cash flow generation have underpinned the business during this low nickel pricing environment,” said Evan Spencer, CEO, AMR. The final stage lift for the current life of mine tailings dam was completed in the June quarter. Combined with the completion of all mine capital development, this marks the completion of all capital projects for 2015.