Harare – Anglo American said its platinum group metal production (PGM) for the Q4 ended 31 December, 2018 increased 3% due to improved operational performances particularly at Unki and the JV portfolio.
The increase in production of 1,256,900 ounces is comparative to Q4 2017, output recorded at 1,220,000 onces.
“Unki had a strong production performance, with PGM production increasing by 36% to 49,800 ounces (Q4 2017: 36,600 ounces) due to a strong operational performance with a 20% increase in tonnes milled, 10% improvement in recovery and 3% improvement in built-up head grade.
“Platinum production increased by 34% to 22,000 ounces (Q4 2017: 16,400 ounces) and palladium production increased by 38% to 19,600 ounces (Q4 2017: 14,200 ounces),” Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said.
The Unki mine is an underground mine located in the center part of Zimbabwe in Gweru, Midlands Province. Unki represents one of the largest platinum reserves in Zimbabwe having estimated reserves of 34 million oz of platinum. The mine produces around 64,000 oz of platinum/year.
Production from Mogalakwena PGM decreased by 9% to 256,800 ounces (Q4 2017: 282,200 ounces) due to an 8% reduction in the built-up head grade, following from the decline in Q3 2018 and as previously guided, as well as maintenance at one crusher, which led to a reduction in tonnes milled.
Production from Amandelbult PGM decreased by 16% to 190,700 ounces (Q4 2017: 226,800 ounces) due to lower underground production delivered to the concentrator primarily due to the section 54 stoppage following the fatal incident on 18 October 2018 and subsequent extensive retraining of employees, some impact from Eskom load shedding, and an increase in absenteeism in the final quarter.
Platinum production increased by 3% to 602,300 ounces (Q4 2017: 587,000 ounces) and palladium production increased by 3% to 386,600 ounces (Q4 2017: 374,900 ounces).
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