Mimosa ramps up production

HARARE - Zimbabwe's second-largest platinum producer Mimosa mine’s platinum group metals (pgm) output increased marginally in the fourth quarter to 60 000 ounces from 51 907 ounces recorded in the third quarter.

This resulted in Mimosa recording 111 000 ounces in the full year to June 2014 — the highest to be recorded by the company.

Aquarius Platinum Limited (Aquarius), which co-owns Mimosa with Implats, said unit costs of $803 per pgm ounces in the fourth quarter were net of $105 per pgm ounces of “one off” voluntary retrenchment costs.

This comes as Aquarius recorded a $62 million improvement in headline earnings performance for the financial year.

Jean Nel, the chief executive of Aquarius said the 2014 financial was fruitful for the platinum miner.

“While the year under review was a difficult year with the Platinum mining sectors’ challenges well published, Aquarius is proudly of a view that significant progress was made in improving the quality of its operations and its balance sheet,” he said.

Aquarius — headquartered in Bermuda, but listed on the Johannesburg and Australian Stock Exchanges — recorded a two percent decrease in revenue to $233 million dollars for the full year to 30 June 2014 on lower prices compared to $237 million in 2013.

The platinum miner also recorded a headline loss (before exceptional charges) of $11 million dollars at 1,13 cents per share, compared to a loss of $73 million dollars at 8,80 cents per share.

The firm’s Kroondal operation’s annual production was at its highest level since 2008 at in excess of 430 000 platinum group metal (PGM) ounces.

The Kroondal operation also remained stable during the five-month platinum strike in South Africa.

“Unlike Kroondal which benefits when the rand weakens against the dollar, Mimosa has no such relief. Mimosa’s pgm basket price for the year was $ 1 133 dollars per pgm ounce, six percent lower compared to the pcp,” Aquarius explained.

“Unit cash costs for the year were 1 per cent higher at 878 dollars per PGM ounce, inclusive of labour retrenchment costs of $5,5 million,” he said.

The firm’s Blue Ridge Platinum operation recorded a net loss after tax of $5 million.

“Aquarius’ focus will remain resolutely on continuing to improve safety, production and cost performances across the Group, whilst carefully assessing selected growth opportunities,” said Aquarius.

 

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