Metals X Limited (ASX:MLX) has announced increases in tin production and revenue at its Renison Tin Operation, Tasmania, highlighting improved grades.
For the September 2023 quarter, the operation produced 2,545 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate, up from 2,292 tonnes in the second quarter. The company stated improvements in recovery (up 0.97 percentage points from 76.05%) and grade (2.18% Sn compared to 1.79% Sn in Q2) successfully offset disruptions including a planned shutdown and power outages due to a storm.
Grade improvements are in line with the mine plan, with access to the higher-grade stopes Area 5 and Leatherwood now established. Metals X noted that “water management in Area 5 continues to be a challenge”, whilst the design and procurement of the pumping improvement project are now complete. Additionally, Metals X attributed improved production to the mobilization of the new development jumbo.
All-in-sustaining costs were $26,893 per tonne of tin, marking a decrease from $27,243 per tonne of tin in Q2. Whilst they reported an increase in imputed EBITDA of $49.04 million (up 25.7% quarter-on-quarter), Q3 imputed net cash inflow of $29.55 million represented an increase of 55.1% from Q2.
Providing an update on the Rentails project, which targets an estimated 99 kt tin in the historic tailings dams, the company stated progress continues in step with the 2023 study plan. Engineering works have progressed as planned, and recent geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling and monitoring programmes have been completed despite wet winter conditions.
Looking ahead to Q4, programmes focusing on resource definition and grade control drilling will commence at stopes in Area 5, Leatherwood, Huon North, and South Basset. Assay results for earlier drilling at Ringrose are expected by the end of 2023. At the Rentails project, the Box fuming furnace trial, delayed due to external disruptions earlier in the year, is set to be completed.
Our view: Metals X have made strong progress at Renison despite disruptions throughout the first three quarters of 2023, with the mine already meeting its original target of approximately 9,000 tonnes of production in 2023.
Metals X owns a 50% equity interest in Renison through its stake in Bluestone Mines Tasmania JV Pty Ltd, a member of the International Tin Association.