Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’s largest platinum miner, Zimplats, recorded a six percent increase in tonnes milled to 1 659 000 during the third quarter ended March 31, 2018, against 1 567 000 tonnes in the comparable period last year.
In its production report for the period ended March 31, 2018, Implats, the parent company for Zimplats, said its Zimbabwean subsidiary during the period under review posted a pleasing operational performance.
“Tonnes milled increased by six percent during the quarter to 1 659 000 tonnes, compared to 1 567 000 tonnes in the prior corresponding period.
“The mill grade was largely maintained during the period at 3,48g per tonne (6E), which resulted in platinum produced in concentrate increasing by five percent to 69 000 ounces, compared to 65 000oz in the prior corresponding period,” said Implats in the report.
It said mill throughput over the nine-month period ended March 31, 2018, improved by two to 4 992 000 tonnes, compared to 4 872 000 tonnes in the prior corresponding period.
“Platinum produced in concentrate during this period similarly improved by two percent to 208 000 ounces from 204 000 ounces in the previous comparable period,” it said.
Implats indicated that the full-year production guidance for the operation is maintained at 255 000 to 265 000 ounces platinum in concentrate but is expected to be near the top end of the guided range. During the quarter under review, Zimplats’ revenue decreased by 14 percent from the previous quarter mainly due to the 16 percent decrease in the volume of 4E metal sold, which was partly offset by the improvement in metal prices (gross revenue per 4E ounce increased by two percent from $1 078 to $1 104). The group would not back up the revenue drop with statistics.
It said net operating costs decreased by 35 percent compared to the previous quarter as a result of decrease in 4E sales volumes, lower selling expenses (previous quarter selling expenses were higher due to the export of concentrates) and the recognition of $9,8 million in respect of treasury bills received in settlement of interest on the $34 million Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe advance.