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Zimplats 4E production up 7 percent

Overall 4E metal production in final product increased by 7% from the previous quarter, in line with the increase in the volume of ore milled.

By Business Reporter

HARARE (Mining Index) – PRODUCTION of 4E metal at Zimplats increased 7 percent due to an increase in ore milled in the previous quarter.

Zimplats recorded 140 569 ounces of 4E in the previous quarter relative to 131 983 ounces in the period ending June 30 2018, also up from 139 146 ounces in the same period in 2017.

In the September 2018 quarterly report, Zimplats revealed the overall 4E metal production in final product increased by 7% from the previous quarter, in line with the increase in the volume of ore milled. The 4E head grade was maintained at 3.23g/t.

“4E metal sales for the quarter, at 141 005 ounces, were 9% higher than the previous quarter, mainly due to the increase in production,” said the platinum giant.

Zimplats revenue increased 1% while gross revenue per 4E ounce decreased 8% from US$1 067 to US$985 due to a 9% increase in the volume of 4E metal sold which was partly offset by the softening of metal prices.

Platinum output increased to 69 825 from 68 923 ounces. Gold output was up from 7 299 to 7 797 ounces while rhodium jumped from 5 896 to 6 220 in the same period last year.

Palladium was however down to 56 727 from 57 028 ounces.

“The mines performed well during the quarter producing 4% more than the previous quarter, with all mines operating at design capacity. In the previous quarter, Bimha Mine was still ramping up production,” said Zimplats.

Tonnes mined and milled increased 4% and 6% respectively from the previous quarter due to higher running time. Running time for the previous quarter was impacted by planned mill reline shutdowns.

34 600 tonnes of concentrate were smelted in the previous quarter, recording 10% high from the 31 434 tonnes smelted in the previous quarter.

“This increase was largely due to higher smelter availability rates, with the previous quarter’s availability rates impacted by the planned seven-day tap block inspection shutdown in May 2018,” said Zimplats.

Net operating costs decreased marginally compared to the previous quarter owing higher production, sales volumes and recognition of a US$9.6 million refund due from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) following a court ruling in favour of Zimplats in respect of penalties

Inappropriately levied by ZIMRA on the disputed customs duty rebates.

“Royalty and commission expenses increased by 35% from the previous quarter due to higher average royalty rates. The royalty for the first two months of the previous quarter was based on the lower special mining lease rates,” said Zimplats. ENDS//

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