Strong Q1 performance for Tharisa as optimisation of mining operations pays off

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Tharisa Mine
  • PGM production is up 14.2%
  • Chrome concentrate production is up 8.7%
  • The Company is confident of achieving its FY2021 production guidance of 155 koz to 165 koz PGMs

JSE-listed platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome miner, Tharisa Minerals which has operations in Zimbabwe through Karo Holdings reported strong quarter of production ended 31 December 2020 (Q1 FY2021) boosting the Company’s annual guidance of PGMs and chrome concentrate production for FY2021.

PGM production is up 14.2% year on year (‘YoY’) on a 6E basis to 39.3koz compared to 34.4koz in Q1 FY2020 and in line with 40.5koz in Q4 FY2020.

Chrome concentrate production (excluding third party) is up 8.7% YoY to 372.3kt against 342.5kt in Q1 FY2020 and marginally stronger versus 370.8kt in Q4 FY2020 whilst speciality grade chrome production is up 15% YoY to 93.8kt vs 81.5kt in Q1 FY2020 and flat versus 93.2kt in Q4 FY2020 (25.2% of total chrome production vs 23.8% in Q1 FY2020 and 25.1% in Q4 FY 2020).

With the strong Q1 FY2021 performance, the Company is confident of achieving its FY2021 production guidance of 155 koz to 165 koz PGMs (6E basis) and 1.45 Mt to 1.55 Mt of chrome concentrates, but cautioned that the increase in COVID-19 infections remains a risk to the Company and its forecasts and guidance are premised on the current level of economic activity being permitted by government regulations.

Commenting on the performance, Tharisa CEO Phoevos Pouroulis said, “The significant progress made in optimising our mining operations during the course of 2019, and 2020 has been demonstrated by the consistent performance and availability of our operations over the last several quarters. We continue to invest in our assets and in our market leading research and development, which will contribute to further production growth from our long life Tharisa Mine”.

He said the consistent performance has been delivered in a strong spot market for PGMs in particular and stable chrome prices while adding that “Construction of the Vulcan processing plant remains on schedule and on budget for commissioning at the end of this financial year, which will further boost Tharisa’s chrome concentrate production from FY2022 onwards.”

Tharisa is an integrated resource group incorporating mining, processing, exploration and the beneficiation, marketing, sales and logistics of PGMs and chrome concentrates. Its principle asset is the Tharisa Mine located in the South-Western Limb of the Bushveld complex, South Africa.

In June 2018, Tharisa acquired a 26.8% shareholding in Karo Holdings, a platinum group metals (PGM) and base metals project in Zimbabwe. Subsequent to that, Tharisa also purchased a 90% stake in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe in May 2018.

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