Nqobile Bhebhe,Senior Business Reporter
NICKEL producer Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) plans to invest US$3,5 million in replacing obsolete equipment that would aid the transition into the new mining strategy, leading to an anticipated upswing in ore volumes and a return to profitability.
The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFSE)- listed mining firm says in line with its new mining strategy, the business continued with its re-investment programme, with specific emphasis on replacing the dilapidated and obsolete underground mining mobile equipment.
The old equipment was having an impact on production processes.
In a trading update for the half year ended 30 September 2022, group chairman, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda, said the firm was eyeing a return to profitability in the second half of 2023.
“The Company continued with its ongoing programme to replace old and obsolete underground mining mobile equipment. Total capital expenditure for the period amounted to US$3,5 million,” said Mr Masunda.
“The company is expecting delivery of most of the acquired mining mobile equipment before the end of the calendar year 2022.
The new equipment will enable the transition into the new mining strategy, leading to an anticipated upswing in ore volumes and a return to profitability in the second half of FY2023”.
The firm said nickel concentrate production for the period under review was 1,918 tonnes, which was 25 percent lower than the 2,553 tonnes produced in the same period last year.
It attributed the decline to the head grade of 1,03 percent, which was 18 percent lower than for the six months to September 2021.
Mr Masunda said the company’s production performance has been negatively impacted by a decline in the footprint of the high-grade massive resource, which necessitated a rapid transition in the mining model from a low-volume, high-grade strategy to a low-grade, high-volume strategy.
The transition is behind schedule due to a delay in the delivery of new underground mining mobile equipment, which is a prerequisite to the realisation of the new mining strategy.