The country’s largest platinum producer, Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings (Zimplats), has reported a 2 percent rise to 1 707 tonnes in output for the first quarter on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
The mine’s production of 4E minerals (platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium) also rose by a similar margin to 136 028 ounces.
Management attributed the improved mine performance to enhanced operational capacity.
“Ore mined increased by 2 percent from the quarter ended December 31, 2018 (previous quarter) mainly due to the improvement in fleet productivity,” said Zimplats.
“Tonnes milled decreased by 2 percent in line with a 2 percent decrease in the total number of operating days from 92 days in the previous quarter to 90 days in the current quarter.
“The 4E head grade remained largely unchanged at 3,23g/t.
“Overall, 4E metal production in final product increased by 2 percent from the previous quarter in line with the increase in the volume of concentrates smelted.”
However, the platinum producer took a hit on earnings as operating expenses spiked to $95,4 million from $89,9 million in the previous quarter.
“Operating cash cost per platinum ounce increased by 4 percent from the previous quarter mainly due to the increase in operating costs, which were partly offset by the one percent increase in production volumes.”
For the nine-months period to the end of the first quarter, the miner said it spent a total of US$1,93 million on exploration activities.