Mimosa output slips 2pc

HARARE - Mimosa Mining Company (Mimosa) has reported a 2,1 percent decrease in milled platinum to 702 000 tonnes in the first quarter ended September.

Mimosa — which is majority owned by South African giant miner, Sibanye-Stillwater — said the decrease in milled platinum had been a direct result of planned maintenance works at the Zvishavane-based mine.

“Tonnes milled during the period decreased by 2,1 percent to 702 000 tonnes, compared to 717 000 tonnes in the previous comparable quarter, impacted by planned mill maintenance during the reporting period,” the miner said.

In the quarter under review, platinum production in concentrate was down 6,3 percent to 30 000 ounces from 32 000 ounces in the prior corresponding period on the back of lower milled tonnage and mill grade.

This comes as firming PGM prices drove Mimosa’s earnings during the first half of the year resulting in the company contributing $11 million to Sibanye-Stillwater’s profitability.

The increase in average PGM price was primarily due to significantly higher palladium and rhodium prices which comprise approximately 30 percent and eight percent of the 4E PGM basket respectively, Sibanye-Stillwater said.

Mimosa is among the country’s largest platinum producers with the other two being Zimplats and Unkie.

Meanwhile, Sibanye-Stillwater’s attributable 4E PGM production from its South African operations (including Mimosa) was flat at 305 227 ounces for the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 relative to 306 184 ounces while underground operating costs for the South African PGM operations (excluding Mimosa) increased by six percent.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African PGM operations (excluding Mimosa) reported a 30 percent increase in adjusted EBITDA to $50 million for Q3 2018, and contributed 43 percent of the group adjusted EBITDA.

Attributable adjusted EBITDA from Mimosa, of approximately $8 million, is however not included in group adjusted EBITDA.

Recent data from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) shows that the country generated 20 percent more PGM concentrate sales than projected to net $35 million in June 2018 compared to the budgeted $29,1 million. PGM matte sales went up 5,74 percent to $44,34 million compared to the budgeted $41,92 million.

According to the World Platinum Investment Council, global refined platinum production is expected to fall by four percent to 5 850 ounces in 2018 mainly driven by reduced output from the world’s biggest producers — Russia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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