Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) owned Unki’s mining performance continues to impress, Amplats production report for the third quarter report has shown.
The group said that it is expecting to see an increase to 50,000 platinum group metals (PGMs) ounces increase per annum and projecting monthly tonnes milled increase from c.175 kilotonnes per month to c.210 kilotonnes per month.
However, during the quarter under review, Unki Mines, PGMs production decreased by 29 per cent to 42 500 ounces, negatively impacted by scheduled integration of a debottlenecking concentrator. Platinum production at Unki went down by 30 per cent to 19 000 ounces while palladium production decreased by 30 per cent to 16 600 ounces.
“At Unki, PGM production decreased by 29% to 42,500 ounces (platinum production decreased by 30% to 19,000 ounces and palladium production decreased by 30% to 16,600 ounces), owing to the scheduled integration of the concentrator, following the completion of the concentrator debottlenecking project.
“Mining performance continued to perform well, leading to a build-up of ore tonnes ahead of the concentrator which will be processed in 2022. The debottlenecking project should see monthly tonnes milled increase from c.175 kilotonnes per month to c.210 kilotonnes per month, leading to a ~50,000 PGM ounces increase per annum.” The group said.
According to Amplats Chief Executive Officer Natascha Viljoen, the completion and successful integration of the debottlenecking project at Unki demonstrates how the company is eager to maximize value from the mine.
“We have delivered a strong safety and production performance in the third quarter, with our own-managed operations being fatality-free for the year to 30 September 2021. I am particularly proud of the commitment and dedication our teams across the operations have shown in limiting the impact of Covid-19 on our employees, communities and workplace safety, as illustrated by the significant improvement in our safety record, including in relation to recordable injuries. However, we will not rest until we achieve zero harm across our business.
“The completion and successful integration of our debottlenecking project at Unki demonstrates how we are maximising value from our portfolio of high-quality assets, resulting in an annual run-rate increase of 50,000 PGMs ounces. Similarly, the strong performance of the ACP shows the increased resilience we are embedding across our business, with operational stability our major focus,” she said.
Unki Mine is considered integral to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon Winston Chitando’s vision for the mining industry to become a US$12 Billion sector by 2023 with platinum expected to fetch an annual revenue of US$3 billion annually.
Chitando has been constantly quoted saying that the vision was being achieved day by day, the performance by Unki is therefore proof enough that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.