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Impala Platinum (Implats) subsidiary Zimplats has reported a 4% increase in platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (4E) tonnes mined to 1.6-million tonnes and a 6% increase in tonnes milled to 1.67-million for the quarter ended September 30.
This compares with the 1.8-million tonnes of ore mined and the 1.7-million tonnes of ore milled in the quarter ended September 30, 2017.
The ore was mined at an average head grade of 3.23 g/t 4E, and ore was milled at an 81% recovery rate.
Of the 7% increase in 4E production for the quarter, platinum constituted 69 825 oz, while 56 727 oz of palladium, 7 797 oz of gold and 6 220 oz of rhodium was produced.
Sales, at 141 005 4E oz, were 9% higher year-on-year, mainly owing to the increase in production.
Zimplats reported a $37.4-million profit after royalties for the quarter, compared with a profit of $37.1-million in the June 2018 quarter, and $24-million in the comparable quarter last year.
Meanwhile, the installation of the north underground crusher and the ore-conveyancing system at the Bimha mine was completed during the quarter, while the south under ground crusher and ore-conveyancing system are scheduled for commissioning in May 2019.
Zimplats spent $72-million on the equipment, against a budgeted $101-million.
The development of the Mupani mine, which is replacing the Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines, is ahead of schedule, targeting ore contact by August 2019 and full production by August 2025.
Zimplats spent $46-million during the quarter on this project, against an approved total project budget of $264-million.