London Mining has improved its performance during the 2013 wet season with a 250% year-on-year increase in iron ore concentrate produced at its Marampa mine in Sierra Leone during the third quarter ended 30 September 2013.
The company said that production, which amounted to 948,000 wet metric tons (wmt), was in line with expectations through the quarter due to initiatives implemented as a result of its experience in the previous year led to a marked improvement in performance over the wet season.
Production was however down 1.6% quarter-on-quarter in 2013 compared with a quarter-on-quarter decline of 7% in 2012, despite 20% higher rainfall in the same period.
Full year production at the mine is anticipated to be between 3.6 million wmt and 3.9 million wmt, or 3.3 million dry metric tons and 3.6 million dry metric tons.
London Mining chief executive officer Graeme Hossie said the improved performance through the 2013 wet season saw a 300% increase in Q3 sales volumes on the previous year.
"This demonstrates that our simple and flexible logistics solution can accommodate increased concentrate volumes," Hossie added.
"The plant upgrades are progressing well and we expect to meet our targeted 5.4Mwmt/a (5Mdmt/a) production run-rate and operating cost target of around $47/wmt ($50/dmt) as we exit 2013."
A life-of-mine (LoM) study, which completed during the quarter, demonstrated that production at Marampa may be increased further by improving the efficiency of the existing plant to a rate of 6.5 million wmt a year in 2014 at an expected additional cost of $40m.
The company said it also expects an investment of $240m to upgrade the plant in order to process all ore types and extend the life of mine to more than 40 years based on probable reserves of over 500Mt.
Image: The expansion of Marampa project requires no material increase in debt facilities. Photo: Courtesy of London Mining.