Implats on track with targets

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Implats on track with targets

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Published Date: 2021-05-03 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Implats on track with targets

The platinum group metals group says it continues to demonstrate resilience amid the ongoing challenges presented by Covid-19.

Impala Platinum (Implats) is on track to meet its full-year production guidance following a decent third quarter - despite the disruptions presented by Covid-19 and elevated community unrest over the period.

In a production report for the three months to end-March, the platinum group metals (PGMs) group reported a 6% improvement in mine-to-market 6E concentrate production to 704,000 ounces, with only Zimplats reporting lower volumes. 6E PGMs include platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and gold.

Impala Refining Services (IRS) 6E PGMs in concentrate receipts from third-party and toll customers declined by 7% to 79,000 ounces, resulting in gross group concentrate production rising by 4% to 783,000 ounces. Refined 6E production, which includes saleable ounces from Impala Canada, declined by 7% to 800,000 ounces, with the prior comparable period characterised by a material reduction in excess accumulated inventory.

Production was impacted by Eskom load curtailment, the furnace re-line at Zimplats, the start of scheduled maintenance at the No 5 Furnace at Impala Rustenburg and interruptions to third-party hydrogen supply at the Base Metals Refinery at the start of the period.

For the nine months to 31 March, Implats said group production benefitted from the inclusion of Impala Canada for the full reporting period. Tonnes milled from managed operations increased by 11% to 17.38 million tonnes, while the average 6E mill grade declined by 2% to 3.66g/t.

While all the group's SA operations were impacted by Eskom load curtailment in March, its Two Rivers mine was adversely affected by a series of failures and required repairs to the regional transmission network, further impacting operating capacity during the quarter. In addition, it said community unrest and protests were a notable feature in the quarter, impacting employee attendance and operational continuity.

The company's shares fell 2.3% to R271.53 on Friday, in line with other platinum companies on the JSE.





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