Australia-based zinc miner, New Century Resources is aiming to achieve 12mn mt throughput annually at 50-54pc recovery rate of zinc up from 10mn mt per annum, said the company in its September quarterly report as prices of zinc is set to rise as economies recover from pandemic situation. The company has set a guidance of 140,000 to 160,000mt of zinc for FY21.
The company produced 33,633mt of zinc metal in September quarter, up by 29pc from the prior year but down 2pc from the previous quarter. The company is confident on improving production further in December quarter as infrastructure stimulus packages are being released in several countries, the company sees opportunity for zinc prices to move up as demand is set to rise.
New Century aims to achieve 12mn mt of throughput annually with zinc recovery rate improving to 50-54pc while in September quarter it was 10mn mt throughput a year with 45pc zinc recovery rate.
Production in September quarter is almost flat from the prior quarter, said the company, due to mechanical issues in the ball mill circuit which has now been rectified and major maintenance shutdown which affected operations for four days in the September quarter. With most zinc mining companies revising forecast for 2020 production, New Century has revised it to approximately 150,000, up 3pc from January forecast levels. Most other companies have revised them downwards including Hindustan Zinc and Teck Resources, the largest producers of zinc.
The improvement in the ball mill circuit has improved zinc recovery rates to 48-50pc which will also reflect in December quarterly performance. In June quarter, recovery rate was around 45.3pc. The company is focused on increasing production and lowering unit costs which will support EBITDA and cashflow in December.
Globally, zinc mines are hurt due to COVID-19, around 1.22mt or 10pc reduction is forecast in 2020. Australia and Alaska are the only major zinc producing countries with production hampered less than 5pc, said New Century resources.