The company’s operations in Australia produced 879,000 tonnes of manganese ore during Q2, and 35,000 tonnes of manganese alloy.
Diversified miner South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32) has surpassed previous manganese production tallies from its Australian Northern Territory mine and its manganese processing plant in northern Tasmania during the second quarter.
The company also has an ongoing manganese project in Africa, which was less prolific during the period.
“We achieved record production at Australia manganese as our PC02 circuit continued to exceed its design capacity, delivering additional tonnes into a strong market,” South32 CEO Graham Kerr said in the announcement.
The company holds a 60-percent interest in both its Australian and South African manganese projects.
South32’s Australian branch achieved record ore production in the December 2018 half year thanks to high utilization rates that were maintained by the primary circuit, which operated at 120 percent of design capacity.
The manganese operations in the country produced 879,000 tonnes of manganese ore during the quarter, and 35,000 tonnes of manganese alloy.
Half-year production totals hit 1.8-million tonnes of manganese ore and 76,000 tonnes of manganese alloy.
While the diversified producer was unable to surpass production outputs set by Australia, the company did increased premium ore production at its South Africa manganese operation, offsetting a decline in fine grained secondary products.
The South African manganese site produced 560,000 tonnes of manganese ore during the quarter, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter. In addition, 22,000 tonnes of manganese alloy were produced, a 100 percent quarter-over-quarter increase.
“As we have benefitted from strong prices for our core commodities we have continued to return cash to shareholders,” added Kerr. “In the December 2018 half year we distributed US$316 million in dividends and allocated US$167 million to our on-market share buy-back.”
The international miner also announced the restructuring of its management team. Company CFO Brendan Harris will take on the role of the chief marketing officer while Katie Tovich will assume the position left vacant by Harris’ move.
Shares of South32 were up by 2.68 percent on Thursday (January 17), trading at AU$3.45.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.