THE country’s largest platinum miner, Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings (Zimplats) has reported a 529 percent jump in profit-after-tax of $42 million in the quarter to March 31, 2017 from $6 million in the prior comparable period on the back of improved metal prices.
There was a general upturn in the average prices of platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium (4E metals) during the period under review.
Platinum prices rose 7 percent to $981 per ounce compared $914 realised in the same quarter in the prior year, while palladium and rhodium increased 46 percent and 34 percent to $766 per ounce and $849 per ounce respectively.
The average price of gold realised in the quarter under review was 3 percent firmer to $1 219 per ounce.
Gross revenue per 4E metals also increased by 21 percent from previous quarter.
However, total revenue for the quarter fell 6 percent to $131 million on the back of a 22 percent decline in sales volumes.
Tonnes mined and milled decreased by 3 percent 2 percent respectively compared to previous quarter.
Metal in concentrate was down 5 percent to 132 117 ounces from 138 446 ounces same period in 2016.
The decline in output was attributed to the redeployment of a production team from ore to waste development at Mupani Mine and a seven day shut-down of the Ngezi concentrator for a periodic mill reline.
“The quarter also had slightly less operating days compared to the previous quarter,” said Zimplats in a trading update.
Net operating costs for the period decreased by a 26 percent on the back of the 22 percent decline in metal sales volumes, while the previous quarter’s net operating costs were impacted by sale of concentrates which attracted higher transport charges.
“Metal sales volumes for the previous quarter benefited from the sale of concentrates stockpiled during a planed furnace shut down.
“Net operating expenses for the quarter benefited from an export incentive of $5,3 million from previous quarter’s $2,2 million and a reversal of impairment of $8 million on the previously written off Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe debt,” said Zimplats.
Meanwhile, Zimplats indicated the redeployment of Bimha Mine remains on schedule to reach full production in April next year.
As at March 2017, a total of $32 million had been spent on the project against the approved total project budget of $92 million.
Additionally, the development of Mupani Mine (replacement mine for Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines) is also on schedule targeting to reach the ore contact by May 2020 and full production in August 2025