Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
PLATINUM mining group, Implats, says it is undertaking feasibility studies to set up a fourth concentrator at Zimplats ahead of envisaged increased output from Bimha Mupani mine expansion projects.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed group owns Zimbabwe’s largest platinum miner, Zimplats, which is based in Mashonaland West province.
Implats chief operating officer, Mr Gerhard Potgieter, said for some time now, the Zimplats smelter has been operating at 6,5 million tonnes capacity a year from four mines and three concentrator plants.
“So, the expansion of Zimplats comes with a need for further beneficiation capacity.
“Longer term, we’ve acknowledged the fact that we are constrained as far as our smelting capacity in Zimbabwe is concerned and we are busy with studies for further furnace there,” he said in an audio recording shared by the mining weekly website.
“It’s not only a furnace that goes with it and it’s quite a substantial capital investment to be made.
“We have started with a feasibility study on this, it’s early days but we have acknowledged the fact that we need more capacity in Zimbabwe.”
Meanwhile, Zimplats has recorded a 79 percent increase in sales revenue for the half year ended December 31, 2020 after receipting close to US$675 million.
The mining firm reported the jump was largely a result of increases in average metal prices and volumes of metal sold, which was US$2 241 compared to US$1 494 per six element (6E) ounce in the same period in 2019.
Volumes were 19 percent higher in the period under review after the group shipped 301 225 ounces compared to 252 748 in the same period in the preceding year.
“Half year revenue increased by 79 percent to US$674,9 million compared to the same period last year, largely driven by increases in average metal prices and volumes of metal sold,” said the mining concern in its directors’ report and condensed consolidated interim financial statements.
“The gross revenue per ounce for the half year at US$2 241 was 50 percent higher than the US$1 494 for the same period last year. 6E ounces sold increased by 19 percent to 301 225 ounces compared to 252 748 achieved in the same period last year.
“Cost of sales at US$297,4 million was 24 percent higher than the same period last year, mainly due to increase in sales volumes, and the resultant increase in royalty and commission costs,” it said.
As a result of the changes, share-based payments were higher due to improvement in the Impala Platinum Holdings Limited share price as well as an increase in gross profit margin at 56 percent, which signalled a 20 percentage points increase from 36 percent achieved in the previous y