Zimplats’ platinum production was down 19% in the last quater of 2019, its latest report shows.
On a year on year basis, production was 24% lower than the Q3, to 53,107 oz.
The weaker output was due to high concentrate stocks and the build-up of inventory in the furnace after a 122-day major rebuild shutdown, Zimplats said.
“The furnace inventory build-up is expected to reverse during the financial year and it is anticipated that all the concentrates stockpiled will be smelted before the end of the year,” said Zimplats.
Zimplats, in which Impala Platinum holds an 87% interest, said ore milled increased 2% year on year but fell 2% quarter on quarter due to lower running time, to 1.669 million mt.
“Running time for the quarter was constrained due to the planned mill reline shutdown at the Selous Metallurgical Complex concentrator,” it added.
Zimplats said the quarterly head grade of PGMs remained unchanged year on year and quarter on quarter at 3.48 g/mt, with recovery rates also remaining the same on year and on quarter at 79.1%.
Total operating cash costs rose 4% year on year and 5% quarter on quarter to $93,108 million, with costs lower in the Q3 as the furnace was down on its major rebuild, Zimplats said.
The platinum giant says it will put $1.3 million towards exploration drilling projects conducted during the quarter on existing mines.