Despite an increase in production, Zimplats’ earnings decreased by 105%


Despite posting a 9% increase in 6E production and boosting sales by 10% to 320,196 ounces in the six months to December 2023, softening metal prices have dragged the country’s biggest platinum group metal (PGM) producer ZIMPLATS, to losses.

Rudairo Mapuranga

According to Zimplats’ Directors’ Report and Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements (Reviewed) for the half-year ended 31 December 2023, the company made a post-tax loss of US$8.8 million, down from a profit of US$159.6 million, marking a 105% loss in earnings.

Zimplats’ pre-tax profit also decreased by 94% from US$221.5 million to US$14.2 million.

Of the six platinum group minerals that Zimplats produces, the biggest price losses were in palladium, which fell 42%, and rhodium, down 70%. Platinum suffered a 1% decline, while ruthenium decreased by 11%. Gold and Iridium were on the positive side, with Iridium posting a 24% increase, while gold increased by 13%.

Ore mined during the half-year increased by 5% to 4.0 million tonnes from 3.8 million tonnes for the same period last year. This was mainly due to pillar reclamation at Rukodzi Mine in addition to Mupani Mine production output, which increased from 1.1 Mtpa to 1.4 Mtpa.

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Tonnes milled, at 3.9 million tonnes, increased by 6.4% compared to the same period last year, mainly due to Third Concentrator Plant mill volume optimization.

The Six Elements (platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, ruthenium, and iridium) (6E) mill head grade at 3.34g/t was marginally lower compared to 3.39g/t achieved in the same period last year due to an increased contribution of ore from lower-grade mines.

6E production increased by 9% to 327,810 ounces from 300,738 ounces in the same period last year, mainly due to the increase in milled tonnage.

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