Australian mining company Syrah Resources has resumed production of graphite ahead of schedule at its Balama mine in northern Mozambique, it said in a statement to shareholders on Tuesday.
“Syrah achieved consistent, on-target production of natural graphite during March, bringing forward the date for production,” which was previously scheduled for April or May, it said.
The company had been idle for a year because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions limiting workers’ mobility, and also due to the drop in demand.
“Syrah will progressively increase the utilisation of the industrial unit and production volumes, along with the full reintegration of the workforce”.
“During the period of temporary suspension at Balama, we have reduced costs while maintaining operational and marketing capacity to ensure a prompt response to improved market conditions,” said Shaun Verner, the company’s CEO.
The progress of the upturn “is a testament to the preparation work that has been done,” and that puts the Mozambican mine “well positioned to meet demand,” he concluded.
The Balama mine began commercial production four years ago, employing around 650 workers, almost all of whom are Mozambican.
China is its biggest market and at the end of 2019 the mine also started supplying a company in the US.