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Syrah to battle graphite market downturn with production, staff cuts at Balama

Syrah Resources Ltd. plans to reduce production and staff at its Balama operation in Mozambique after completing the structural review it started in September in light of a downturn in flake graphite spot prices.

The company said Oct. 18 it will produce 120,000 to 150,000 tonnes in 2020, compared to revised guidance of 205,000 to 245,000 tonnes for 2019.

Production in the fourth quarter of this year will continue at about 5,000 tonnes per month.

Syrah expects annualized saving of about US$22 million at Balama and will lay off about 30% of the staff at the mine.

The company will save a further US$1.5 million mainly due to executive management headcount reduction.

Managing Director and CEO Shaun Verner said the majority of the savings are expected to be realized from the start of 2020.

"It is still too early to gauge the pace of market reaction, however, we will continue to actively monitor and review market conditions and manage our production volume accordingly," Verner added.