Mineral Resources Limited (MinRes) is pleased to present its Quarterly Exploration and Mining Activities Report for the period to 30 June 2023.
Below are key points from the June quarter, with the full Quarterly Report available in our ASX Announcement.
- Safety performance for the quarter was 0.15 Lost Time Injuries. Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate was 2.21. On 12 June 2023, Kieren McDowall, an employee of a contractor at Ken’s Bore working on the Onslow Iron Project, tragically lost his life. Senior management, including Managing Director Chris Ellison travelled to site with our Head of Mental Health and our employee assistance program service provider to offer support. An investigation into the incident continues. Safety remains a top priority for our business.
- Mining Services production volumes were 58Mt during the quarter and totalled 248Mt for FY23, in line with revised guidance of 245-255 Mt. During the quarter, a new crushing plant was commissioned and a haulage contract was extended for a further two years with an external client.
- Total June quarter iron ore shipments were 4.3M wet metric tonne (wmt), resulting in FY23 shipments of 17.5M wmt.
- Combined Free On Board (FOB) costs are expected to be at the upper end of the FY23 guidance range of $73-$83/t.
- The average quarterly realised iron ore price was US$91 per dry metric tonne (dmt), representing an 82% realisation of the Platts 62% IODEX. The average quarterly product discount was 11%.
- All major approvals have now been received for the Onslow Iron Project. The first ore-on-ship delivery is expected in June 2024.
- Quarterly Mt Marion SC6 equivalent spodumene shipments were 39k dmt (attributable), bringing FY23 shipments to 149k dmt, in line with revised guidance of 145-150k dmt. The FY23 SC6 equivalent FOB cost is expected to be within guidance of $1,200-$1,250/dmt. The average quarterly realised spodumene price was US$2,589 per dmt.
- The expansion of the Mt Marion processing plant was completed in June 2023.
- MinRes announced encouraging exploration results at Mt Marion which confirm significant opportunity for open pit extensions and underground potential.
- The cooperation agreement to convert Mt Marion spodumene concentrate into lithium battery chemicals with Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd (Ganfeng) was mutually terminated.
- Quarterly Wodgina SC6 equivalent spodumene shipments were 34k dmt (attributable), resulting in FY23 shipments of 143k dmt, marginally below the revised guidance of 150k dmt. The FY23 SC6 equivalent FOB cost is expected to be within guidance of $925-$975/dmt.
- Wodgina lithium battery chemical production in the quarter was 4.2kt and 11.5kt for FY23, in line with production guidance of 11.5-12.5kt. Lithium battery chemical sales in the quarter was 3.5kt and 7.3kt for FY23, in line with sales guidance of 7.0-7.5kt. The average realised lithium battery chemical revenue in the quarter was US$40,484/t.
- MinRes amended the terms of the transactions signed with Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle), previously announced on 23 February 2023. MinRes will no longer invest in any Chinese conversion assets and Albemarle will take full ownership of the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant. Albemarle will pay MinRes an estimated US$380-$400 million on completion. Completion is expected in the December quarter.
- MinRes announced a significant natural gas discovery at North Erregulla Deep-1.
- The company also completed the acquisition of Norwest Energy NL on 29 April 2023.