By Business Reporter – Monday 5 August 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – ZIMBABWE’S largest platinum producer, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited (Zimplats) said platinum production for the quarter ended 30 June 2019 increased marginally by two percent to 67 978 from 66 495 ounces recorded in the previous quarter, a four percent increase from 62 629 ounces recorded in the same period in 2018.
During the reviewed period, palladium output also slightly rose 4 percent to 57 258 from 55 149 ounces.
Overall ore mined increased by 7 percent from the prior year’s comparable quarter ended 30 June 2018, largely due to fleet productivity improvements undertaken in FY2019.
“The operating cash cost per platinum ounce decreased by 12% from the previous quarter, mainly due to a 10% decrease in operating costs and a 2% increase in platinum production. Operating costs decreased from the previous quarter mainly due to improved efficiencies,” said Zimplats.
The company reported that ore mined tumbled 2 percent in the fourth quarter, from the quarter ended 31 March 2019 mainly due to a temporary work stoppage following the fatal accident experienced at Mupfuti Mine on 5 April 2019, with the number of fatality free shifts worked dropping from 10 million to 0.5 million.
Zimplats said work to re-energise the teams after this experience has commenced, with management confident the situation will be turned around.
Tonnes milled also stumbled 2 percent from the previous quarter due to planned mill reline shutdowns at both concentrators during the quarter under review.
“Despite the decrease in volume of ore milled, 6E metal production in final product increased by 3% and 6% from previous quarter and prior year’s comparable quarter respectively, mainly due to metal recovered from draining the furnace for the major rebuild, which commenced on 10 June 2019 (3 036 ounces of 6E),” said Zimplats.
On exploration ventures, a total of US$2.67 million was spent for the year ended 30 June 2019 on surface drilling (26 628 metres), sample assay analysis and geophysics ahead of mining all portals. ENDS//