Harare- Platinum group metals (PGM) and chrome concentrate producer, Tharisa Minerals’ revenue tumbled by 15% to US$342.9 million in the full year to September 2019 (FY 2018), from US$406.3 million in the same period last year.
In the trading update for the period under review, the Group’s Chief Finance Officer, Michael Jones attributed the decline to lower sales volumes and a decrease in the chrome price compared to the same period in 2018
PGM production for the year was 139.7 koz, an 8.2% decline from the 152.2 koz recorded for the full year 2018 while chrome concentrate production was 1.29 mt, 10,9% down from 1.45 mt recorded in 2018.
“2019 saw curtailed production at the Tharisa mine, as we embedded our owner miner approach at the asset and redesigned the mining operation with investment in training and machinery to support the long-term production goals,” the Group Chief Executive Officer Phoevos Pourolis said.
Tharisa’s gross profit amounted to US$60.4 million, an 80% decline from the US$108.5 million recorded in the full year 2018 while the gross profit margin stood at 17.7% from 26.7% in 2018.
According to Mr Jones, the major factors contributing to the reduced gross margin were the lower production levels with the embedded fixed cost component and an increase in the stripping ratio moving 0.7% more waste while producing 5.1% fewer ROM tonnes.
The group’s EBITDA stood at US$51.6 million in the period under review down 49.4% from US$101.9 m for the full year 2018.
In regards to their Zimbabwean operations through Karo Zimbabwe Holdings (Private) Limited (Karo Zimbabwe) in which the Group is a 26.8% indirect holder, Tharisa is considering the expansion of its operations, with plans to develop a significant new PGM and chrome complex after the granting of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to a portion of Selous measuring 50 667 hectares.
Earlier, the Group’s CEO Phoevos Pourolis said, “the Karo mine could transform the Zimbabwean PGM sector, bringing significant economic benefits to all stakeholders and building a long-term sustainable mining industry”.
Tharisa Minerals is one of the world’s largest chrome and platinum group metals producers listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
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