Operations Update FY 2021
The year ended on a very positive note, with December's production achieving a step-changing 1,219t, representing a very solid production performance overall with a 124% increase in monthly output versus December 2020. This was due to higher feed of heavy mineral concentrate, in combination with the expanded processing capacity during the reporting period. In addition, PYX has continued to focus on its increasing productivity programs at the Mineral Separation Plant (MSP), successfully navigating through the problems facing operations in 2021, which saw extreme weather conditions and a reinvigorated pandemic.
Customer demand continued to increase, showing particular interest in PYX's premium zircon due to its low aluminium oxide (AI2O3) of under 0.2%. In addition, the uranium + thorium content of PYX's zircon is less than 500ppm. Through the strategy of market diversification, PYX was able to mitigate disruptions in specific locations and markets. During the period, PYX grew its customer base by 71% - adding Brazil into its country mix. The Company further decreased the top 3 customers' share of total sales volume from 61% in 2020 to 52% in 2021, achieved by increasing the number of customers in China.
Despite the US-China trade conflict, the Australia-China trade war, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and related global supply chain disruptions, the mineral sands market showed resilience and rebounded strongly since the start of the pandemic - resulting in substantial price increases across both contract and spot markets. During the year PYX announced four premium zircon price increases - triggered by increased demand, lack of supply and low inventories. In December the average premium zircon pricing reached US$2,465/t, 87% higher than at the end of 2020.
Currently, governments have set the year 2050 as the goal for Net-Zero emissions and the rollout of various technologies essential to the energy transition including solar cells, nuclear energy and catalysis, all require zircon in their manufacture. The Australian Government classes zirconium as a crucial mineral vital for the economic well-being of the world's major and emerging economies. As the world moves toward decarbonisation, the demand for zircon is expected to continue to increase.
Following the acquisition of Tisma at the beginning of the year, PYX became the 2nd largest publicly traded producing mineral sands company by zircon resources, globally. In June, the Company completed a successful placement raising AU$11.2m/GBP6.1m (gross of expenses), with the goal to accelerate growth, starting with Mandiri's Minerals Separation Plant (MSP) increasing its capacity four-fold to 24,000 tpa, allowing for future production of rutile, leucoxene, and ilmenite.
In November, PYX successfully dual listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, which was an ideal time given the buoyant pricing cycle premium zircon is currently experiencing.
The LSE is a leading destination for natural resources companies and has a strong network of brokers, analysts, and institutional investors with a deep knowledge of the global mineral sands market. Accordingly, the LSE Dual Listing has provided a platform to broaden our investor base to include institutional and other investors, as well provide as access to a highly liquid market.
Commenting on the Company's achievements in FY21, PYX Resources' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Oliver B. Hasler, said: "I am delighted with our achievements during 2021. The mineral sands industry is currently experiencing a strong upcycle, and market conditions are now ideal for the implementation of the Company's growth strategy."
"2021 was a truly momentous year for PYX Resources and with our ambitious expansion plans for 2022, I look forward to delivering on the next phase of our growth trajectory."
During 2021 PYX continued with its sustainability program based on 5 pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. During 2021, PYX realised projects on quality education, clean water and sanitation, viable employment and building partnerships to furthering these goals. PYX's total recordable injury frequency rate since January 24 2020, is zero. Sadly, it reported some COVID-19 cases amongst its employees. PYX's staff were all cared for during their recovery from the illness and the Company reported no COVID-19 fatalities. In partnership with the local health authorities, PYX took the initiative in October 2021 of leading a vaccination campaign to protect all staff employed at all levels of the Company, including within the office, factory and mine in Kalimantan. 100% of PYX employees have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
About Pyx Resources Limited
PYX Resources Limited (NSX:PYX) (LON:PYX) is a global producer of premium zircon listed on the National Stock Exchange of Australia and the London Stock Exchange. The Company's flagship asset is the Mandiri mineral sands deposit, located in the alluvium sediment rich region of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Boasting the world's 5th largest producing deposit of zircon, PYX is a large-scale, near-surface open pit operation in production since 2015 and with exploration to date validating the presence of additional Valuable Heavy Minerals such as rutile, ilmenite among others within its mineral sands.
Pyx Resources Limited