Zimbabwe Platinum Mines’ (Zimplats) tonnes mined for the half-year-ended December 31, 2015 increased by 30% to 3,27 million from the same period in 2014 due to the ore supply contribution from the Ngezi South open pit.
In the same period in 2014, tonnes mined for the period was 2,5 million.
The Ngezi open pit began in the quarter ended June 2015 at 423 000 tonnes and increased production from underground mines following the redeployment of fleets from the collapsed Bimha Mine.
Zimplats yesterday said in a statement accompanying its results that ore mined in the comparative period was lower owing to the Bimha Mine closure in August 2014 as a precautionary measure to safeguard employees and assets following the subsiding of ground and continued deterioration of ground conditions in a section of the mine.
“Consequently, tonnes milled increased by 26% to 3,12 million tonnes compared to the same period last year owing to improved ore supply as highlighted above,” Zimplats said.
Four elements (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) (4E) mill head grade at 3,223g/t was 1% lower than the previous year’s 3,253g/t mainly due to barren geological intrusions, internal dilution arising from mining across areas affected by faulting and lower grade ore from the Ngezi South open-pit.”
Turnover for the period decreased by 12% to $204,4 million from $233,5 million in the comparable period in 2014 due to the decline in metal prices despite increase in sales volumes. During the six months period platinum sales increased to 128 431 ounces from 103 092 ounces previously.
Gross revenue per platinum ounce was 30% lower at $1 591 for the half year from $2 265 in 2014.
Cost of sales at $185,7 million was 14% higher than $162,4 million realised in the same period in 2014 due to the increase in sales volumes
Profit before income tax for the period amounted to $0,6 million, 88% lower than $4,7 million achieved in the same period last year, largely due to the drop in metal prices.
Zimplats said falling commodity prices on the international market was affecting its operations.