Zimplats volumes marginally decline in Q3 on Ngwarati mine temporary closure

  • Tonnes milled declined by 1000
  • 6E in concentrate and matte also fell
  • Grade also declined

Harare –  Zimbabwe’s biggest PGMs producer, Zimplats has recorded a decline in production volumes in the third quarter ended 31 March 2021 as a result of temporarily shutting down Ngawarati mine following an accident.

Total 6E volumes slightly fell from 1 701 000 tonnes in the comparative quarter in 2020 to 1 700 000 in the quarter under review.

Complementarily, the production of 6E in concentrate declined from 150 000 ounces to 137 000 ounces while 6E in matte fell from 152 000 ounces to 137 000 ounces on top of a grade declined from 3.46 g/t to 3.39 g/t

According to Implats “On 14 February 2021, a portion of the high wall  at the Ngwarati Mine box cut subsided, fatally injuring an employee of a contractor operating at Zimplats. This resulted in the temporary closure of the Ngwarati Mine, with production teams transferred to Rukodzi, Bimha and Mupani mines and milled volumes supplemented by stockpiled development ore from Mupani Mine.

As a result, tonnes mined, milled grade and process recoveries were all negatively affected during the quarter.”

Overall, the group increased production by 4% to 5.59 million tonnes during the quarter, with higher volumes reported at Impala Rustenburg, Impala Canada, and Marula.

Milled grade remained constant at 3.64g/t and improved recoveries and yield resulted in 6E concentrate production at managed operations rising 6% to 569 000 ounces while 6E concentrate production from the joint ventures at Mimosa and Two Rivers increased by 2% to 135 000 ounces.

At the same time, 6E sales volumes of 862 000 ounces increased by 14%, driven by “additional destocking of iridium and ruthenium as demand and pricing improved for these metals.”

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