Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment

IMAGE Resource has reported forecast record production from its Boonanarring mineral sands project near Perth in Western Australia, as well as a shipment delay into the coronavirus-struck China and a second debt repayment.
Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment Image repays more debt as coronavirus uncertainty delays shipment

All going well on site at Boonanarring, WA

The US$7.9 million repayment last week leaves principle outstanding debt of $32.9 million, which Image expects to have full repaid by May next year after another five scheduled repayments.

Image suggested dividends could thereafter be on the agenda.

Image had A$49.9 million cash at the end of December.

Meanwhile, the mineral sands producer is being optimistic about the situation in China while also seeking other customers for its concentrate.

"Thus far, the only impact to Image from the uncertain economic conditions in China following the emergence of the coronavirus has been a delay of a planned February shipment of HMC into March," the company said.

"Image is working with its partners to expand the size and/or frequency of HMC shipments going forward, to accommodate the higher 2020 HMC production schedule … (and) also continues to investigate interests in the purchase of its HMC from entities outside of China, as a step to minimise geographical risk and to expand the company's marketing opportunities."

On the operational front, record production in December and January (including 35,300t in the latter), was in line with expectations, and puts the company on course to achieve 2020 guidance of 300,000-330,000t of HMC.

Shares in Image were up 5% to 22c in morning trade, capitalising the company at $214 million.

The stock was at levels around 17c 12 months ago.