ASIAN Mineral Resources (AMR) is continuing its strong operational performance at the Ban Phuc Nickel Project in northern Vietnam with production during the December quarter being above guidance. Ongoing exploration in the region around the mine also shows signs of adding to the company’s success.

This adit at the Ban Chang target was cleaned and mapped during the December quarter.
This adit at the Ban Chang target was cleaned and mapped during the December quarter.
 

ASIAN Mineral Resources (AMR) is continuing its strong operational performance at the Ban Phuc Nickel Project in northern Vietnam with production during the December quarter being above guidance. Ongoing exploration in the region around the mine also shows signs of adding to the company’s success.

The company produced 2097 tonnes of nickel metal, 956 tonnes of copper metal and 68 tonnes of cobalt metal in concentrate in the quarter while processing recoveries continued to be a highlight with further sustained improvement in processing recoveries achieving 88.1% nickel, above a design target of 85%, and 95.1% copper. In the corresponding quarter of 2014 AMR produced 1958 tonnes of nickel and 960 tonnes of copper.

There were five product shipments completed in the quarter which was more than planned due to the return to exporting of stockpiled concentrates after delays associated with shipments to Jinchuan in the third quarter to Tianjin port. A total of 29,873 tonnes of dry concentrate was shipped during the December quarter which was 30% higher than the same period of 2014 and the average realized nickel price was US$4.02/pound.

The C1 operating cost for the quarter was US$4.79 per pound of nickel, including royalties and export taxes. The full year C1 operating cost was below guidance at US$4.31/pound.

Cost saving initiatives included further reductions in manning, mining equipment and mining fleet. Throughout the year Ban Phuc focused on in-country sourcing and supply. As product quality and local supplier knowledge has improved, AMR has increased its exposure to the local supply market, which continues to be a key area to achieve ongoing cost savings.

AMR CEO Evan Spencer said, “AMR continued a solid operational performance. The high C1 costs were due to our end of year royalty and tax finalization. AMR has focused on implementing cost reduction strategies and developing its ongoing operational plan for 2016. We must continue to expose ourselves to the low operational cost base of Vietnam.

“Low cost exploration activities have continued at our second high priority target at Ban Chang. Stream outcrop/trenching and adit mapping continued. Ban Chang ranks with Kingsnake as our highest priority exploration targets. The ability to continue to develop our understanding and knowledge of the geology and mineralization of the region will place AMR in a strong position to rapidly add to our resource base. We are gaining a more complete understanding of this exciting and prospective geological region.”

 
 

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