Refined tin production from Minsur’s subsidiary in Brazil, Taboca, rose 28% year-on-year to 1,934 tonnes in Q2 according to the company’s Q2 financial report, while production from the Pitinga Mine declined 3% to 1,622 tonnes.
The increase in refined tin production was explained by an 18% higher volume of concentrate to the smelter and a 37% rise production of tin from slags. Output in the first half of 2017 totalled 3,356 tonnes, up 39% from the same period of 2016 and on track to meet the official refined tin production guidance of 6,500 to 7,500 tonnes for the year.
Ferro Niobium and Ferro Tantalum alloys output totalled 659 tonnes, up 36% compared to the same period of last year due to the start-up of a new flotation plant for the two by-products. Operational costs also increased in Q2 relative to Q1 due to plant maintenance.
ITRI View: Based on reported average head grades and treated ore tonnages we calculate that the mass of tin contained within treated ore at Pitinga rose 13% year-on-year in H1, almost double the 7% increase in tin-in-concentrate production from the mine. This difference was most notable in Q2 where mine production at Pitinga fell 3% to 1,622 tonnes despite a 4% year-on-year increase in the mass of tin contained within treated ore. We infer that tin recoveries at the processing plant have fallen since 2016 and suggest this as an explanation for the 3% year-on-year decline in Q2 production from Pitinga.