- Impala Platinum achieves 18% growth in production volumes.
- Impala Rustenburg exhibits a step-change in operating momentum.
- Accident at 11 Shaft results in tragic loss of lives.
Sandton - Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, a leading platinum group metals (PGM) producer, has announced robust production volumes and commendable cost control in its latest update for the Half Year ended 31 December 2023. Despite facing significant challenges and an increasingly constrained operating environment, the company delivered strong production volumes and commendable cost control during the period.
Impala Platinum Holdings reported a gross Group 6E production increase of 18% to 1.90 million 6E ounces compared to the same period last year. This growth was primarily driven by improved production from managed operations, which saw a 28% increase to 1.51 million 6E ounces. Notable improvements were observed at Impala Rustenburg, Marula, Zimplats, and Impala Canada.
Impala Rustenburg, one of the company's key mining and processing operations, demonstrated a step-change in operating momentum with an 11% increase in production to 675,000 stock-adjusted 6E ounces. Impala Bafokeng, a subsidiary of Impala Platinum Limited, contributed 254,000 6E ounces in concentrate as a maiden interim consolidation during the period.
However, Marula's performance was negatively impacted by lengthy safety stoppages, resulting in a 12% decline in 6E concentrate production to 113,000 ounces. Zimplats, benefiting from higher installed milling capacity, delivered a 9% increase in 6E matte production to 328,000 ounces. Impala Canada recorded a 1% gain in 6E concentrate production to 144,000 ounces, with high-grade feed offsetting lower milled volumes.
Joint ventures (JVs) also contributed to the production growth, with Two Rivers reporting a 3% increase in 6E concentrate production to 151,000 ounces, and Mimosa witnessing a 2% rise to 125,000 ounces of 6E in concentrate.
Despite these positive results, Impala Platinum Holdings faced a setback at its 11 Shaft site, located at Impala Rustenburg. An accident on November 27, 2023, resulted in the tragic loss of 13 employees' lives and injuries to 73 others. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) in South Africa conducted an in loco inspection and issued instructions for necessary repairs. The company has submitted an Investigation Report to the DMRE, and formal proceedings relating to the accident are expected to commence.
Following the approval from the DMRE, Impala Platinum Holdings has resumed operations at 11 Shaft, enabling a ramp-up in mined volumes to approximately 60% of production capacity over the coming weeks. The infrastructure repairs are expected to be completed by the end of February 2024, with a target for full production capacity in April 2024.
Despite the challenges posed by input inflation and rand depreciation, Impala Platinum Holdings remains optimistic about its operational performance for the remainder of the financial year. The company is committed to enhancing the safe operation of all conveyance systems and plans to share the learnings from the accident investigation with regulators and industry stakeholders.
Impala Platinum Holdings is scheduled to release its audited results for the half-year ended December 31, 2023, on or about February 29, 2024.
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