- November 2, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe’s major platinum producer, Zimplats Holdings Limited made commendable strides with regard to production volumes for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 on the back of fleet productivity and contribution from Mupani mine which is still under development.
Main indicators include mined and milled tonnage.
Mined tonnage soared by 10 percent to 1,796 tonnes from 1,673 tonnes achieved in the preceding quarter to June 30, 2019. The gain also represents a 10 percent increase from 1,629 that was achieved in comparable quarter to September 30, 2018.
“This was mainly due to improved fleet productivity and additional tonnage from Mupani Mine, which is still under development,” said the platinum miner in a statement.
Tonnes milled went up by 9 percent to 1,705 from 1,570 achieved in the immediate quarter to June 30, 2019.
Again the figure represented an increase by 2 percent from 1,677 that was achieved in comparable quarter to September 30, 2018.
According to the miner, increase in milled tonnes was attributable to “an increase in mill running time.” The last quarter’s tonnage was reportedly affected by “planned shut downs for mill relines at both concentrators.”
Combined, 6E metal in matte production increased by 3 percent to 151 458 ounces from 147 136 ounces for the preceding quarter to June 2019. The increase was also a 2 percent upward movement from 148 500 ounces recorded in the quarter ended September 30, 2018.
Of all the 6E, platinum contributed the highest amount in ounces to the tune of 70 000, which was a 3 percent increase from 67 978 ounces recorded in the immediate quarter to June 30, 2019.
Next in contribution was palladium with 59 795 ounces, a figure that represented a 4 percent change from 57 258 ounces in the preceding quarter to June 2019, and as well a 5 percent change from 56 727 ounces recorded in the comparative quarter to September 30, 2018.
Negatives were, however, noticed in the performance among the 6E gold, Rhodium and Iridium whose figures for the period under review represented a loss by 10, 20 and 15 percent respectively in comparison to the prior period to September 30, 2018.
The positives in 6E volumes were attributable to “higher mill volumes.”
6E production in the quarter to June 30, 2019 included 3 036 ounces recovered from the furnace during the rebuild which commenced on June 10, 2019.
In terms of financial performance, total operating cash costs increased by 15 percent to $88, 487 million from $77, 076 million posted in the quarter ended June 30, 2019 “due to the increase in mined and milled tonnage.”
This was reportedly further impacted by higher selling expenses on the back of a boost in concentrate exported during the period of the furnace rebuild.
Consequentially, operating cash cost per platinum ounce increased by 2 percent to $1,236 million from $1,209 million in the previous quarter to June 30, 2019. This also represented a 3 percent change from $1,275 million recorded in the prior quarter ended September 30, 2018.
Meanwhile, the miner achieved the safety milestone of one million fatality free shifts worked during the quarter after recording a single lost-time injury. Exploration drilling is expected to commence in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 after nothing was done in the quarter under review.