Unki output stagnant

HARARE - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats)’ Zimbabwean unit Unki production remained flat at 15 000 ounces in the second quarter ended June 2014, with the group maintaining the strikes which rocked its South African mines did not affect output.

In its second quarter results, Amplats said the long-drawn strike did not affect Unki and another platinum mining unit, South Africa-based, the Mogalakwena.

“The industrial action never impact on production at the Mogalakwena and Unki mines nor the majority of the joint operations and associates,” it said.

Unki is the third largest platinum producer in Zimbabwe.

In the first quarter of the current year, the mine’s platinum output jumped four percent, a factor the company attributed to higher volumes delivered to the concentrator and throughput at the mills. Unki’s production figures in the first two quarters of the year were below guidance as the mine produced 67 000 ounces in the prior year, but this remains a fraction of Amplats’ 1,5 million ounce annual output.

“Mogalakwena mine’s production increased by 23 percent to 96 000 ounces, due to higher achieved 4E head grade and increased concentrator throughput, supported by the mining productivity improvement programmes. Unki mine production was flat at 15 000 ounces,” the group said.

The strike is said to have affected more than half of the global platinum production as South Africa accounts for 70 percent of the total 5,74 million ounces produced annually, which may trigger price increases.

Amplats’ total production during the quarter slumped 39 percent to 357 000 ounces from 583 000 ounces recorded in prior comparable period due to the crippling strike that forced temporary closure of several of its mines.

Smaller mines in South Africa were negatively affected by the strike, which led to a decline in overall refined platinum output.

“Equivalent refined platinum production decreased by 40 percent to 358 000 ounces, primarily due to the industrial action, which began on 23 January 2014 and which affected the Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union mines in South Africa.

“The total platinum ounces lost due to the industrial action for the second quarter was 239 000 ounces,” the group said.

According to the giant platinum miner, total lost production from the industrial action during the first half was 424 000 ounces and a further 16,000 ounces was lost during the ramp up of operations as “safe return to work” procedures are undertaken before mining commenced.

The strike ended on June 24.

Amplats has so far invested $350 million in Unki.

Last year, the mine produced 67 000 ounces of refined platinum. According to Amplats, Unki has a life span of up to 2041, which could extend to 2055 Unki is expected to maintain its current production level of 63 200 ounces of platinum annually.

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.