ERA Boosts up Production Utilising Maximum Capacity

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 15 July, 2009 - 03:50

One of the world’s major uranium producers, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) have recorded a significant increase of output at Australia’s largest uranium mine in the last quarter by reaching almost full capacity. The company came up with the massive output in an attempt to boost up its profit for the later half of the year. Energy Resources increased its capacity by 22 percent to 1481 tonnes from its Ranger mine that is located in Kakadu National park.

Recently established laterite processing plant also helped the company to reach the new level of production. According to Lyndon Fagan, an RBS analyst, the company is currently operating at almost its maximum capacity where in the earlier quarter the utilisation was around 80 percent.

The ore mining in the Ranger mine fell about 16 percent to 590,000 tonnes comparing with the production in a year earlier and remained up in the first quarter for 48 percent at the time when the production was hampered due to rains. According to ERA, the company was going through extensive research regarding the Ranger three deep ore body and Ranger heap leach expansion project. However, no detail information about the study was provided.

The company didn’t give any direction regarding the achieved price or profit for the second half either. It is believed that the numbers will be influenced by the existing and future contracts. The earnings of the company is expected to go up despite ERA maintains its uranium business through long term contracts. According to the company, the second quarter evolution expenditure was $4.9 million where it was $5.4 million for the first quarter. Due to the inaccessibility to the higher grade uranium at the bottom of the pit, the grade went up to 0.28 percent uranium oxide from 0.22 percent of the second quarter of last year. The ERA stocks closed at $21.67 in the stock exchange on Tuesday with a gain of 57 cents.