Base starts the hunt for new assets

Posted on : Friday , 4th September 2015

 Perth – Mineral sands miner Base Resources was hunting for acquisition opportunities as it neared the completion of a production optimsiation programme at its $310-million Kwale mineral sands project, in Kenya. Speaking on the third day of the Africa Downunder conference, Base MD Tim Carstens said the company was making good progress in refinancing current debt obligations to better suit the current price environment. “We are pursuing a refinancing of the current debt facility with the objective of securing a repayment profile more appropriate to the cash flows in the current challenging market environment and which would ensure a robust financial footing from which to grow the business, compared to the original market and project environment when this facility was first negotiated four years ago,” he said. Base started exports from Kwale in 2014, and the mine was being ramped up to produce 80 000 t/y of rutile, 360 000 t/y of ilmenite and 30 000 t/y of zircon. Despite the challenging market conditions, Base continued its optimisation push at Kwale, which was expected to increase the mine’s combined ilmenite, rutile and zircon output beyond 460 000 t/y. Carstens noted that there was also exploration potential in the immediate surrounds of the mine that had not been tapped. “Despite the tough market, we have taken action to position for growth and we think we are comfortably on track with that. Put simply, it’s been all about improving our recovery rates,” he added. 






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