BNC records lower nickel sales in 2021

Nickel producer, Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) has 2 549 tonnes of nickel in concentrate this year which is 0.8% lower than the same period the prior year.

In a trading update for the half year ended 30 September 2021, the company said the widening gap between the auction and unofficial exchange rates as well as the potential in already high inflation rate posed threats to growth and economic stability.

“Nickel sales volume was 2 549 tonnes, which was marginally lower than last year’s sales of 2 566,” reads the update.

Additionally, nickel in concentrate production for the period under review were 2 553 tonnes, 13% lower than 2 929 tonnes produced last year.

“The decline was mainly due to the head grade of 1.26% which was 22% lower than for the six months ended September 2020,” reads the trading update.

However, the average LME nickel price of US$18 234 per tonne was 38% higher than the previous year’s price of US$38 214 per tonne, reflecting the global increase of nickel prices.

Tonnes ore milled of 241 325 were 15% higher than the 209 153 ore milled in the same period last year as the mine intimidated the transition from the higher grade, low volume strategy to the new low grade, high volume strategy.

In making the the transition to the new mining strategy, the business is also continuing with its capital expenditure or re investment program, with specific emphasis on replacing the dilapidated and obselete underground mining mobile equipment.

“This will assist the business to mine and process higher volumes of ore, as distinct from the historical over-mining of high grade massives, which approach is being corrected through the new mining strategy.”

“In addition, the rate of development underground has been increased to unlock the higher volumes required going into the future,” says the company.

According to BNC chairperson Mr Muchadeyi Masunda, poor equipment availabilities combined with lower than expected massive grades in September and October 2021 resulted in nickel production for both months being lower than expected.

“The focus during the remainder of the year will, therefore, be on recovering the nickel in concentrate production deficit and managing costs. Nickel in concentrate production for the full year is expected to be close to 6 000 tonnes,” he said.


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