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Bushveld Minerals boosted as production improvements confirmed

“More than the production volume improvements, it is positive to see improved operational stability at Vametco," said chief executive Fortune Mojapelo

Bushveld Minerals Ltd - Bushveld Minerals boosted as production improvements are confirmed
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Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) confirmed higher production and sales volumes in the second quarter ending June 30.

Production amounted to 886 metric tonnes (mtV) of vanadium, up from 688 mtV in the preceding quarter, as operational stability improved in the Vametco subsidiary, which earlier this year was impacted by industrial action.

Vametco produced 278 mtV and 261 mtV for the months of May and June respectively, and the company said the monthly run rate is forecast to be maintained at 240 mtV for the rest of the year.

Bushveld said it is on track to meet production guidance of 3,400 mtV to 3,600 mtV for 2021.

The recent unrest in South Africa has not impacted production operations though the company has experienced logistics delays in getting its product to the port. These logistics delays have been resolved, Bushveld said, but it noted that general international seaborne logistics pressures remain due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It expects to maintain export volumes during the third quarter of 2021.

"We are pleased to report a significant increase in quarterly production in Q2 2021, albeit from a low production base in Q1 2021,” said chief executive Fortune Mojapelo.

“More than the production volume improvements, it is positive to see improved operational stability at Vametco, as a result of not only the extended 35-day maintenance shutdown, but also of several operational improvements, which include a greater discipline in our proactive maintenance practices, process control from the technical team and people development strategy.”

Mojapelo also highlighted that Bushveld intends to complete the expanded prefeasibility studies at Vametco and the ongoing technical studies at the Vanchem later this year, which will help determine the optimal paths to grow production volumes.

Looking externally, Mojapelo pointed to improving market conditions for vanadium.

"We are pleased to see strong demand sustained by the increase in Chinese steel production, while momentum continues to build in the application of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries in the growing energy storage sector.

“Consequently, we expect the market fundamentals to continue to support the vanadium price going forward.”

In London, Bushveld shares started Wednesday’s trading higher – advancing 5.9% to change hands at 12.35p per share.

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