Tati Nickel Mine Managing Director Sebetela Sebetela has confirmed that the mine’s output is projected to drop from an average 18 000 tonnes this production year to around 15 000 tonnes.
Responding to media reports on the anticipated drop, Sebetela explained that he was not in a position to give precise numbers on production plans as the figures are still under review.
“It is, however, expected that there will be a down trend in nickel production compared to historical volumes due to decline in ore grade,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph.
He was, however, quick to allay fears that the drop could be an indicator of the shortened mine life span explaining that it is normal to encounter such situations in a mining activity.
“It’s a normal fluctuation and we remain optimistic that this will not affect the life span of the mine. We are managing the situation and we believe that going beyond this, the ore grade will improve to better levels,” said Sebetela.
Historically, Tati Mine’s output has averaged 22 000 tonnes per annum with a projected ore reserves of about 99 million tonnes.
The reduction in output will, however, not affect the company’s bottom line because nickel prices on the international market have of late been improving significantly.