Metro Mining (MMI) has indicated it may commence its annual wet season shutdown earlier than anticipated due to weak off-take contracting. If further sales are not locked-in within the next month, Bauxite Hills could wind down in mid-September. Operations would then restart in April 2021 as planned to meet contracted deliveries to MMI’s major Chinese customer, Xinfa. A deterioration in the aluminium/alumina market confidence resulting from COVID-19 is the primary reason for the lack of off-take contracting. This is a disappointing development considering the strong operational performance from Bauxite Hills year to date. June Q shipments of 1.25Mt were 14% ahead of the upper end of guidance. All elements of MMI’s mining and logistical chain are exceeding expectations. Cash and receivables at 30 June was $44.1m with $35m debt. HOLD recommendation.
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