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Kenmare Profit Down on Weaker Market and Operational Challenges

Kenmare Profit Down on Weaker Market and Operational Challenges

London-listed titanium and zircon producer Kenmare Resources reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $220-million for 2023, a 26% decrease on the Ebitda of $298-million reported for the prior year.

The board has declared a full-year distribution of $50-million, which amounts to $0.56 apiece, which is a 3% increase on that of the prior year.

The company has returned more than $250-million to shareholders since 2019.

Kenmare operates the Moma Titanium Minerals mine, in Mozambique, which generated 12% higher revenue year-on-year at $437-million in the year under review.

The company recorded a 4% increase in total operating cash costs to $228-million compared with the prior year, owing to more heavy mobile equipment rentals, higher fuel costs and costs associated with a severe lighting strike in the first quarter of the year.

The cash operating cost per tonne of $209 increased by 15% year-on-year, owing to the higher total cash operating costs.

The company produced 9% lower volumes of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) in the reporting year at 1.44-million tonnes, owing to lower ore grades and mining rates, which were impacted on by power disruptions and the lightning strike.

Ilmenite production of 986 300 t marked a 9% decrease on the prior year’s output, which is in line with the lower HMC production.

Shipments of finished products of 1.04-million tonnes were down 3% year-on-year owing to weaker product markets and poor weather conditions in the last quarter of the year.

Outgoing MD Michael Carvill comments that the sound financial performance was delivered despite operational challenges and the weaker product market.

The company received a 10% lower average price for its products in the year under review owing to weaker markets and lower shipments.

Profit after tax was down 36% year-on-year to $131-million, compared with $206-million of profit after tax reported in the prior year.

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Diluted earnings per share (EPS) amounted to $1.37, marking a 35% decrease on the prior year’s diluted EPS of $2.12.

Kenmare ended the year with $20.7-million of net cash on hand, with cash and cash equivalents of $71-million.

The company has since secured a new $200-million revolving credit facility to enhance its financial flexibility and support planned capital programmes.

Looking forward, Carvill expects production for this year to be weighted to the second half. So far, the markets for Kenmare’s products have been stronger than expected in the year-to-date, driven by improving demand for titanium pigment.

The company expects to produce between 950 000 t and 1.05-million tonnes of ilmenite this year.

Mining Weekly

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