Resources group, Zimplats Holdings Limited’s profit for the quarter to December 2018 jumped 56 percent to $63,8 million from $40,7 million achieved in the prior year comparative period with the miner making more money from palladium than platinum.
Figures from the platinum group show that profit was also 71 percent above the previous quarter’s $37 million.
Revenue for the quarter fell 17 percent to $152 million from comparable prior year period but rose 10 percent from previous quarter due to an increase in metal prices.
Gross revenue per 4E ounce increased by 19 percent to $1 173, which was partly offset by a 7 percent reduction in volume of 4E metal sold.
Net operating costs decreased by 40 percent compared to the same quarter in the prior year and 14 percent from previous quarter mainly due to the decrease in sales volumes and an increase in export incentive.
Royalty and commission expenses increased by 13 percent from the previous quarter due to the increase in sales revenue (driven mainly by palladium and gold).
During the quarter under review, palladium and platinum were the biggest revenue contributors each accounting for $66 million and $46 million respectively.
Revenue from palladium rose 37 percent from previous quarter, but was 1 percent below prior year comparable period.
At $9 million, revenue from gold was 16 percent below same period in 2017 but 10 percent above the previous quarter.
Revenue from platinum fell 32 percent to $46 million matched to comparable prior year while it was 5 percent below the previous quarter.
During the period under review, ore mined increased by 3 percent from the previous quarter mainly due to productivity improvement initiatives implemented during the quarter.
“However, production for the quarter decreased by 5 percent from the same period last year due to the closure of the South Pit Mine in March 2018,” said Zimplats.
Tonnes milled decreased by 3 percent from the previous quarter due to a lower milling rate and a decrease in the running time of the mills due to the planned SMC concentrator mill reline shutdown.
Zimplats said 4E metal sales for the quarter amounted to 130 432 ounces, which was 7 percent lower than the previous quarter, mainly due to the decrease in metal production and some negative adjustments to sales in the pipeline.
The 4E head grade improved to 3,24g/t from 3,23g/t in the previous quarter, reflecting consistent grade control at the mines.
Concentrates smelted decreased by 5 percent due to a routine seven-day furnace taphole inspection shutdown.
“Overall, 4E metal production in final product decreased by 5 percent from the previous quarter, in line with the decrease in the volume of concentrates smelted,” said Zimplats.
Meanwhile, the redevelopment of Bimha Mine remains on schedule while the development of Mupani Mine (the replacement for Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines) is ahead of schedule, targeting ore contact by August 2019 and full production in August 2025.
Bimha Mine is Zimplats’ biggest mine out of four other mining units in Ngezi. The mine was shut down as a precautionary measure following the partial collapse of the mining footprint in July 2014 due to regional instability induced by the geological Mutambara Shear.