The Irish company. Kenmare Resources, which is mining titanium-bearing heavy mineral sands in Moma on the coast of the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, says it shipped record levels of ilmenite and zircon in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the company revealed that during the quarter, ilmenite production increased by 18 per cent to 217,900 tonnes from 185,000 tonnes in Q1. Zircon production rose to 16,900 tonnes, an increase of 46 per cent.

A record volume was exported during the quarter. This was because bad weather during the first quarter delayed two shipments into April. As a result, in Q2, Kenmare shipped 309,020 tonnes of minerals — 291,628 tonnes of ilmenite, 15,682 tonnes of zircon and 1,709 tonnes of rutile.

Ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) and rutile (titanium dioxide) are used to make white pigments for paints, paper, and plastic. Titanium can be extracted from these ores and used to manufacture metallic parts where light weight and high strength are needed. Zircon (zirconium silicate) is used for abrasive and insulating purposes.

The higher production along with increases in the international prices for the minerals is improving the company’s finances. According to Kenmare’s managing director, Michael Carvill, “the strengthening of the balance sheet, allied with falling cash costs and consistent productivity gains at Moma, positions Kenmare to benefit from the improvement in the titanium feedstock market we are currently experiencing as higher ilmenite prices are reflected in revenues for the second half of 2016”.

The company also reported that the mine has continued to experience stability in the quality and reliability of the electricity supply as the result of the additional transmission capacity commissioned by the publicly-owned power utility, EDM.