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Kenmare says lightning strike ‘severely disrupted' its mining operations in Mozambique

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR), one of the leading global producers of titanium minerals and zircon, which operates the Moma titanium minerals mine in Mozambique, reported today that a lightning strike has severely disrupted mining operations.

In a statement, the company said that in early February 2023, power lines nearby the mine were subject to a direct lightning strike of “unusually high intensity”, adding that the severity of the strike “cut two of the powerline conductors” and the energy discharged “overwhelmed” the mine’s lightning protection systems.

“In addition to damaging the power line infrastructure, a large number of variable speed drives and electronic devices at the mine were also damaged, primarily at the three Wet Concentrator Plants. This was a highly unusual event, which has not previously occurred in Kenmare’s 15 years of operations,” Kenmare said.

“Mining operations were severely disrupted while repairs were carried out,” it added.

“While Kenmare is working hard to recover lost production of heavy mineral concentrate, production of ilmenite and rutile is now expected to be towards the lower half of the guidance range for 2023,” the company noted. “Due to a drawdown of intermediate stocks at the Mineral Separation Plant, the guidance range for zircon and concentrates remains unchanged.”

The company also said it has undertaken a process of either replacing or repairing the damaged equipment and Wet Concentrator Plants production capacity has now been restored at close to normal operating levels, adding that the Mineral Separation Plant sustained only minor damage and returned to operations quickly.

Kenmare Resources is one of the world's largest producers of mineral sands products. The company operates the Moma titanium minerals mine in Mozambique. Moma's production accounts for approximately 8% of global titanium feedstocks.

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