A record breaking second half of the year saw manganese production at Cancana Resources' (CVE:CNY) Brazilian joint venture top 17,000 tonnes of manganese mineral product.
The company said Brazil Manganese Corporation (BMC), its joint venture (JV) with Ferrometals, had a successful 2015 in which it “outperformed all known previous years of operations”.
Fourth quarter production at BMC Totalled 6,536 tonnes of manganese mineral product, bringing stockpiles at the end of 2015 to 19,233 tonnes.
The Rio Madeira plant produced 12,996 tonnes, compared to historical averages of 11,500 tonnes, with much of this (82%) produced in the second-half of the year after the implementation of safety and operational improvements, representing a record six-month production period for the plant.
In contrast, product dipped at the Jaburi plant, principally because the plant had to be closed down for a while in the third quarter for safety and operational improvements.
The plant cranked back into action in the fourth quarter, coinciding with construction work that is taking place.
Adding output from the two plants together, production in the fourth quarter eased a bit from the third quarter, reflecting the start of the wet season and the Christmas break.
Average grade for stockpile assays from third quarter production was 51.4% manganese (Mn). Assays for fourth quarter production are pending, Cancana divulged, but based on available assay data the average grade of the stockpile at December 31, 2015 was 51.3% Mn.
Assay results include material from the Dnei-Zenilda open pit, which was extended into the vein system.
The average grade across all product sizes based on current information is 52.1% Mn.
The coarse product stockpiles average 52.8% Mn and the fine-medium material averages 50.6% Mn, Cancana told investors.
The results show that the breccia vein material can be successfully upgraded to a quality product where it is hosted within kaolinitised (clay-altered) granite. The manganese mineral content of the breccia vein is variable but on average represents about half the rock volume. The wash-plant removes the clay-altered silicate minerals with no crushing, to produce a product that is in line with the grade of current colluvial mining operations.
A proportion of the mineralization below five millimetres is currently not recovered in the plant.
According to the Metal Bulletin, CIF Tianjin pricing for 44% manganese was US$1.86 per dry metric ton unit (dmtu) as of December 29th, 2015.
Cancan's president and chief executive officer, Anthony Julien, said BMC had demonstrated scalability and consistency of production and product.
“We are well positioned to take advantage of the currently challenged manganese market with our high-grade product, and intend on continuing to scale-up production and sales in 2016," Julien said.