Zimplats profit slumps 48pc

HARARE - Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited (Zimplats)’ operating profit slumped 48 percent to $21 million in the quarter to December 2013 on the back of lower sales volumes and depressed metal prices.

During the period under review, revenue went down 13 percent to $126 million from $146 million realised in previous quarter.

Operating costs remained unchanged at $105 million.

The platinum group metals (PGMs) producer — 87 percent owned by South Africa-based Impala Platinum Holdings — said output improved by seven percent driven by the introduction of an additional production fleet at Mupfuti Mine and production improvements at Bimha Mine which had been affected by shear zone.

“Short-term contingency plans have been identified and implemented at Bimha Mine to manage the shear zone while work on long-term stabilisation measures is on-going,” it said, noting that milling and metal in concentrate production were impacted by the shutdown of the Ngezi concentrator ball mill for relining and decreased by two percent from the previous quarter.

Cash cost per 4E ounce was one percent higher than the previous quarter, reflecting the impact of lower production volumes (metal in converter matte).

The company’s local expenditure increased by 43 percent to $60 million.

“Total payments to government in direct and indirect taxes decreased by nine percent from $32 million to $29 million compared to previous quarter. This was mainly due to the lower revenues recorded in the current quarter,” said the miner.

Zimplats, Zimbabwe’s largest PGMs producer, recently indicated that it had earmarked $469 million for the opening of its fifth mine.

The company currently operates four mines namely Mupfuti, Rukodzi, Bimha and Ngwarati and the opening of a new mine is set to replace Rukodzi Mine, which is now too expensive to operate.

The new mine would be called Portal Five Mine.

“Development of the new underground mine remains on schedule to reach design production in early 2015. There are now three production fleets after the introduction of an additional fleet this quarter,” said the platinum miner.

The mining company has since improved from the 4,2 million tonnes of ore milled per annum to reach the maximum of 6,2 million tonnes per annum, recording a two million-tonne growth and the phase two concentrator has already achieved design capacity.

Zimplats, which is under pressure from government to set up a refinery in the country, said it was engaged in discussions with the minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment with regard to the company’s indigenisation implementation plan.

Comments (1)

Something is wrong somewhere, Production increased by 2 million tonnes, There was no major price movement between the 3rd to the 4th qtr with the following, Platinum 3rd qtr 1455 4th qtr 1412 Plaadium 724 & 4th qtr 722, Rhodium 993 & 996 and Iridium 500 & 816 (major movement). what was the contribution of the 2 million tonnes?

Timothy Thorton - 5 February 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.