Zimbabwe's Bindura Nickel Corporation said on Tuesday it had increased its full-year nickel production by 3 percent to a record 7,306 tonnes, while revenue was boosted by higher prices of the metal.
Bindura, Africa's only integrated nickel company with a mine, smelter and refinery, said the average nickel price for the year to end-March was $16,700 per tonne compared with $14,298 per tonne in 2014. This increased revenues by 21 percent to $79 million, the company said in a statement.
The company, which is 75 percent owned by African miner Mwana Africa, currently sells nickel concentrate to Glencore but plans to start exporting nickel alloy after an ongoing smelter upgrade. This would raise its revenues by up to 20 percent.
Bindura said the smelter, which had initially been expected to be completed in December, would be finished in the first quarter of 2016 after delays from suppliers. The first sale of nickel alloy is forecast to start next April.
The nickel miner said it was negotiating with various unnamed parties to secure an off-take agreement for the nickel alloy and for processing third party nickel concentrate.
Bindura also said it plans to start negotiations with the government to lower its power tariff, citing that electricity costs will account for 48 percent of the expenses of running the upgraded smelter.
In the past the company enjoyed a commodity-linked tariff which expired in January 2015.