PRODUCTION at the country’s third largest platinum producer, Unki Mine, increased two percent to 18 900 ounces in the first quarter of 2017, up from 18 600 ounces in the prior comparable period.
However, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, Unki’s platinum production was down by five percent from 19 900 ounces. The Shurugwi-based mine is owned by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).
According to Amplats, Unki’s increase in platinum output for the first quarter was on the back of sustained efforts in efficient mining, resulting in increased grade and higher production.
Unki Mine is essentially an underground mine located in the country’s Midlands province. It represents one of the largest platinum reserves in Zimbabwe, having estimated reserves of 34 million ounces of platinum.
The mine produces an average 64 000 ounces of platinum yearly. Last year, Unki total production jumped 12 percent to 75 000 ounces for the year ended December 31, 2016.
Meanwhile, the JSE-listed platinum group’s output for Q1 remained largely flat at 571 900 ounces. And its refined platinum production increased by 316 100 ounces to 576 900. As a result, sales volumes of 518 800 ounces for the quarter rose 26 percent.