ZIMPLATS Holdings recorded a 6% decline in revenue to $131, 3 million in the first quarter ending March 31 2017 mainly due to lower sales volumes.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
According to the report for the first quarter ending March 31 2017, the group said revenue decreased by 6% from the previous quarter mainly due to 22% lower 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) metal sales volumes.
“Metal sales volumes for the previous quarter benefitted from the sale of concentrates stockpiled during a planned furnace shutdown in the first quarter and the impact of lower sales volumes on revenue was partly offset by the increase in metal prices,” Zimplats said.
In the period under review, net operating costs decreased by 26% in comparison to the previous quarter largely due to the 22% lower 4E sales volumes.
“In addition, the previous quarter’s net operating costs were impacted by the sale of concentrates which attract higher transport charges. The net operating expenses for the quarter benefited from an export incentive of $5,3 million from $2,2 million in the previous quarter and a reversal of impairment of $8 million from $13 million in the previous quarter on the previously written off Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt,” Zimplats said.
The group said tonnes mined were 3% lower than the previous quarter, largely as a result of the redeployment of a production team from ore to waste development at Mupani Mine.
The quarter also had slightly less operating days, compared to the previous quarter.
“Due to a sustained focus on grade control, the 4E head grade at 3,25g/tonnes improved marginally from the previous quarter. Ore milled and 4E metal in concentrate produced decreased by 2% and 1% respectively from the previous quarter due to the seven-day shutdowns of the Ngezi concentrator for a periodic mill reline,” it said.
During the period under review, overall, 4E metal production in converter matte increased by 1% from the previous quarter.
The group said cash costs per 4E ounce were well-managed and rose only 2% compared to the previous quarter.
“The rise was mainly due to the salary increase for the national employment council graded employees and maintenance work done during concentrator reline shutdown. In addition, the strengthening of the South African rand against the United States dollar had a negative impact on the cost of goods and services procured from South Africa,” the company said.
Zimplats said the redevelopment of Bimha Mine remained on schedule to reach full production in April 2018 and a total of $32 million had been spent on the project as at March 31 2017 against an approved total project budget of $92 million.