Tharisa’s year improves


Tharisa’s year improves

Published Date: 2019-07-10 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Tharisa’s year improves

The platinum and chrome producer has reported an increase in third-quarter chrome production following a pit redesign.

Tharisa plc says a redesign of its main pit resulted in improved third-quarter production, setting it up for a good end to its 2019 financial year after a bumpy start.

In a quarterly production update, the platinum and chrome producer said tonnages of ore mined and milled increased in the three months to end-June from the previous quarter.

The redesign was aimed at improving access to the East Pit at the Tharisa Mine and providing a better product mix and grade control for its Genesis and Voyager processing plants. The redesign affected its first half performance as it prevented it from mining the optimal reef mix, but it said the mine continued to create flexibility which would result in improving plant feed grades.

Production of platinum group metals (PGMs) increased by 0.3% to 34,100 ounces in the three months to end-June over the previous quarter. Chrome concentrate production rose 8.2% to 334,000 tonnes, with recoveries improving by 4.1% to 65.5%. The average price for its basket of PGMs increased by 1.5% to $1,064 an ounce and was 4.1% higher in rand terms. Although the average price it received for its chrome was slightly higher at $174 per tonne for the June quarter, it has since declined, with the current spot price around $140.

It said Karo Mining, the PGM and base metal resource on Zimbabwe's Great Dyke it bought a minority stake in last year, had completed the first phase of its drilling campaign on time and within budget. It said preliminary resource data would be available in November.

The group has maintained its full-year production guidance of at least 150,000 ounces PGMs and 1.4 million tons of chrome concentrates, of which 350,000 tons will be specialty grade.

Its shares closed 2.6% lower at R20.45 yesterday.

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