Padenga  Holdings expands customer base

Senior Business Writer

PADENGA Holdings Limited says its crocodile operation continues on its post Covid-19 recovery and is producing high quality skins that are consistent with dynamic premium market expectations.

The firm added that the exotic skins luxury market continues to withstand the turbulent global economic environment, and Padenga maintains its position as a significant player in the value chain and is expanding its customer base.

“The business is on course to fulfil its contract volumes to its primary customer within the current contract period. Trading terms for the succeeding season are already in place, thus ensuring viability of the business in the short to medium term,” Padenga Holdings Limited company secretary Mr Andrew Lorimer noted in the third quarter trading update.

Mr Lorimer said the Nile crocodile operations recorded a 30 percent increase in skin harvest volumes during the nine months ended 30 September 2023, compared to prior period (24 115 vs 18 530).

“This is an indication that strategies to improve skin quality over the past two years are yielding improved performance. Skin sales in the nine month period at 30 586 skins were 77 percent above the                17 319 skins sold for the same period last year.

“Skins sold include stock skins from prior years which are expected to be fully disposed of by the end of the current financial year releasing cash previously held up in stock over an extended period of time.”

On the mining venture, Mr Lorimer said production out of the Pickstone underground operation is set to increase gold output for the group.

He said management’s priority is to ensure a smooth ramp-up of the underground operation by the end of the financial year.

The group’s gold sales grew by 12 percent to 1 665 kilogrammes from1 480kgs realised in the comparable period in 2022.

“Gold sales in the nine months to 30 September 2023 rose by 12 percent in comparison to the same period last year (1 664.8kgs vs 1 480kgs).

“This was achieved on the back of an increase in tonnes milled and mill feed grade. The tonnes milled increased by five percent to 1,332,973mt from 1,267,421mt recorded for the nine months to 30 September 2022. This was mainly due to a positive growth in plant throughput at Eureka Mine, achieved through optimisation as well as the addition of a new mill at Pickstone Peerless Mine. Mill feed grade also registered a six percent increase (1.42 g/mt vs 1.34g/mt).”

Padenga remains buoyant that gold production at its operations will maintain an upward trajectory as the Pickstone underground operation is set to increase gold output for the group.

The Pickstone underground project was completed at the end of August 2023, with commercial hoisting of ore commencing in September 2023.
Padenga is one of the world’s leading suppliers of premium quality crocodilian skins, accounting for nearly 85 percent of the supply of Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) skins to high end luxury brands globally.

Padenga also has the capacity to produce crocodile meat from its export approved abattoir for sale to European markets, and opportunities for the export of crocodile meat are being vigorously pursued.

The company operates three crocodile farms in Zimbabwe, which are located on the shores of Lake Kariba.
Padenga recently sold its interest in an alligator farm operation in the USA.

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