Titanium and zircon miner Kenmare Resources said that during the second quarter of the year it achieved the milestone of 10 million hours worked without a Lost Time Injury.
The company said this is a new company record and shows the commitment of its team at site to risk management and strong employee engagement on safety.
Kenmare operates the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine in northern Mozambique and its products are consumed in items, such as paints, plastics and ceramic tiles.
In a trading update today, it said the market for all of its products continued to improve, with realised ilmenite prices increasing for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Kenmare said that although global growth expectations have reduced for the second half of 2022, inventories remain low throughout the value chain and demand for its ilmenite is anticipated to be robust.
The company said its second quarter production was weaker than anticipated due to higher slimes recirculation, impacting excavated ore volumes and grades.
"As a result, we now expect production to be at the bottom of 2022 guidance. Increased pricing has more than offset production and supported revenues," Kenmare's managing director Michael Carvill said.
"Our balance sheet continued to strengthen, with a $17.3m reduction in net debt at the end of the first half, after paying the $24.1m 2021 final dividend," Mr Carvill said.
"We are targeting a dividend payout ratio of 25% profit after tax for 2022," the Kenmare boss added.
Kenmare today reported Heavy Mineral Concentrate production of 353,600 tonnes in the second quarter of the year, a 19% decrease compared to the same time last year. This resulted in a 10% reduction in ore grades and an 8% reduction in excavated ore tonnes.
Ilmenite production came to 242,900 tonnes in the second quarter, down 14% on last year and broadly in line with the reduction in Heavy Mineral Concentrate processed, the company said.
It also said that primary zircon production fell by 9% to 13,600 tonnes, which was due to reduced Heavy Mineral Concentrate processed, but the decrease was partially offset by increased recoveries.
Kenmare said that total shipments of finished products decreased by 23% to 192,800 tonnes, as a result of reduced transshipment capacity, as one of Kenmare's two vessels began its five-yearly dry dock in May 2022, exacerbated by poor weather conditions.