MAURITIUS – Alphamin Resources Corp., a producer of 4% of the world’s mined tin1 from its high grade operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says its contained tin production of 2,412 tons was 11% below guidance (2,700 tons), impacted by a low feed grade of 3.2% Sn compared to 3.8% Sn the previous quarter. The month of June 2021 saw lower than expected grades from underground.
The variable nature of high-grade tin mineralisation in the orebody may cause large fluctuations in delivered grade – as a mitigating tool the company will increase planned waste development for the remainder of the year in order to provide more mining flexibility for blending high- and low-grade areas.
Taking into consideration the lower feed grade, the processing plant performed well, treating 12% more material and achieving recoveries of 72%.
EBITDA of $34,1m for Q2 2021 is 7% below Q1 2021 – the previous quarter benefitted from a significant catch-up in tin sales following logistical bottlenecks during Q4 2020. Tin prices are currently trading at around $34,700/t, 23% above prices achieved during the past quarter.
Net debt amounted to $29,5m at 30 June 2021, down 50% from the start of the financial year
(31 December 2020: $59,9m).
The Company has appointed Mr. Jan Trouw as the on-mine Managing Director of its 84,14% subsidiary, Alphamin Bisie Mining, effective 1 July 2021. Mr Trouw is well known to the Alphamin team and has over 40 years of African mining experience – recently as head of the Frontier copper mine in the DRC and prior to that as General Manager of the high-grade Chibuluma copper mine in Zambia.
He was instrumental during late 2019 as an advisor in developing the new mining method and mine design criteria for Alphamin’s Bisie tin mine. Over the last 7 years, Alphamin’s Bisie tin mine has developed from an exploration asset to a steady state operating mine, producing 4% of the world’s mined tin.
GUIDANCE FOR H2 2021
The grade of ore mined from underground in Q2 2021 was lower than that expected from the Mineral Resource model, although some benefit was gained from additional tin mineralisation delineated by grade control drilling.
Overall, for material mined since commissioning to date, the actual grades from underground were substantially in line with the Resource Model after taking account of planned dilution factors.
For the second half of 2021 and into Q1 2022, Alphamin expects to mine lower tin grades averaging 3,2% to 3,5%, which at higher plant recoveries of 78% (including the FTP recovery) and monthly throughput of 36,000t amounts to contained tin production of between 900t and 1000t per month.
Production guidance for H2 2021 is approximately 5,500t of contained tin (previous guidance: 6,500t). The grade of ore mined is expected to increase to an average of 4% from Q2 2022 leaving this lower grade window as temporary.