Unki’s H1 2020 production down by 16% on COVID-19 induced disturbances

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  • Output down to 80 300 ounces
  • Group PGM and gold output down by 25%
  • PGM production from own-managed mines declined by 24%

Harare- Unki Mine’s PGM output in the half year ended 30 June 2020 decreased by 16% compared to the prior comparative period, an effect of the COVID-19-induced shutdown.

Production dropped to 80 300 PGM ounces from 95 800 ounces realized in the same period last year.

Unki, which is owned by multinational PGM miner, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) conducted a safe and measured ramp-down to care and maintenance after the Zimbabwean government announced a national lockdown which began on the 30th of March 2020.

Following government’s recognition of mining as an essential service with effect from 7 April 2020, the mine ramped up to full production but due to the precautions taken to ensure a safe start, mining operations lost nine days of production while concentrator operations lost 33 days and smelting operations lost 60 days.

In a statement accompanying the Group’s half year results, the Group CEO Natascha Viljoen said the mine delivered an EBITDA margin of 28% and ROCE of 14%.

Cash operating costs increased by 2% to R1.1 billion while cash operating costs per PGM ounce excluding the foreign currency impact and non-productive labour costs paid to employees at the start of the lockdown increased by 2% to R11 521 per ounce driven by lower volumes and other fixed costs being incurred.

Overall, Amplats’ total PGM output and gold in the period under review declined by 25% year-on-year to 1 619 900 ounces due to the shutdown of operations in response to COVID-19 and some operational challenges in the first quarter.

“Refined production (excluding tolling) declined by 49% to 1.0 million ounces in the first half due to the impact of a force majeure incident resulting in the temporary closure of ACP, as well as power interruptions that occurred in the first quarter of the year. As a result of the temporary closure of ACP in the first half, we saw a large build-up of work-in progress inventory”, Viljoen said.

PGM output from own-managed mines decreased by 24% to 939 600 ounces from 1 234 500 ounces, a result of lower production at all operations as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

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