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Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes

London-listed vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals saw production levels dwindle in the third quarter, but record output in September means the South-Africa-focused player remains on track to hit its full year target of 2,800-2,900 tonnes.
Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes Bushveld on track for FY guidance as Vanchem deal completes

Bushveld has ramped up output from the Vametco openpit mine after planned maintenance at its processing plant

Staff reporter

Planned maintenance at the company's Vametco processing plant saw production fall 24% quarter on quarter in Q3 to 561t. The summer maintenance programme, completed two days ahead of schedule, was designed to increase crusher and mill availability as well as boosting throughput rates. It also aimed to increase kiln availability and hourly feed rate, lift recoveries and improve leach plant recoveries.

"Thanks to the recent efforts from our team on the ground, the maintenance programme was successfully implemented ahead of schedule. Following this work, Vametco was soon running at improved levels, achieving record production of more than 300tV from magnetite concentrate during the month of September. These sustainable operational achievements keep us on track to achieve our stated guidance for the year at both the cost and production levels," Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals, said in a statement.

Mojapelo also hailed the completion of Bushveld's acquisition of the Vanchem processing facility - a deal first unveiled in May.

"We are also excited to have secured operational control of Vanchem, with Bushveld now owning two of the four operating primary processing facilities globally. Alongside the Mokopane mining right application granted recently, the completion of the Vanchem acquisition, gives us a scalable platform that will allow us to grow our production base towards the 8,400tV per annum target we have communicated," said Mojapelo.

Investment firm SP Angel said in a note on Thursday that Bushveld was "well set to repeat this success at Vanchem following confirmation of its acquisition today".

"We are looking forward to new demand for vanadium from new VRFB instillations and for Bushveld Energy's strategic positioning within this new technology sector to enable the Bushveld to grow with the sector as it develops."

Low vanadium prices have seen shares in Bushveld trend downwards so far in 2019. Shares were trading at 22.6p on Thursday, down from nearly 50p at this point in 2018.