April 10 (Reuters) - Iron ore miner African Minerals Ltd said it expected a surge in output this year as it continued to ramp up production at its flagship Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone.
The company, which said it remained on track to meet its sustainable output target of 20 million tonnes of ore per year during the second quarter, forecast production of 15 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes at Tonkolili in 2013.
The mine produced 5.1 million tonnes last year.
“While significant progress was made in 2012, delays in construction and commissioning of the wet process plant, and the prolonged and severe 2012 wet season, impacted operations resulting in the exporting of 4.3 million tonnes of material, below our revised 5 million tonnes target,” African Minerals said in a statement.
The miner, which owns the Tonkolili mine that sits on one of Africa’s largest iron ore deposits, said adjusted operating loss narrowed to $27.9 million in 2012 from $35.6 million a year earlier.
African Minerals, which faced a short-term funding crunch late last year and reworked its finances to meet working capital needs at that time, said it expected to be cashflow positive on a sustainable basis during the second quarter.
The company’s shares, which have more than halved in the past year, closed at 224.75 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.