Strategic Minerals Europe Corp (SME) saw record quarterly production at its Penouta mine following an overhaul to their main ball mill.
Situated in Spain and the EU’s largest active tin mine, Penouta produced a record 206 tonnes of tin concentrate for the quarter, at 69.7% Sn. The resulting tin-in-concentrate production of 144 tonnes is also a record for the mine, increasing 32% from the same quarter last year.
Jamie Perez Branger, CEO, explains the reason for the improved performance, stating “the second quarter of 2023 was the first quarter of full production after we completed the major overhaul of our main ball mill in February.”
The overhaul, which took 21 days, was carried out to avoid future mechanical breakdowns and stoppages that hampered operations in the run-up to February. Production during Q4 2022, when disruptions were most severe, fell by almost half from levels in Q3.
Despite a poor performance of the tin price relative to last year, improved production has had a positive impact on sales, resulting in revenue reported by SME to be roughly flat year-on-year. Cassiterite sales reached 193 tonnes for Q2, up 37% from last year. “For the rest of 2023 and forward, we expect to continue to benefit from this increased production and efficiency.”, Branger continues.
Our View: Assuming continued levels of production, ITA expects Penouta to produce around 500 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate this year, an increase of over 50% from last year’s production.