Unki Q1 platinum production up 14pct

Unki Q1 platinum production up 14pct

HARARE, April 22 (The Source) – Platinum production at Unki Mine near Shurugwi increased 14 percent to 19,000 ounces in the quarter ended March 31, 2016, due to increased head grade and running time for concentrators.

Parent company, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), said in its quarterly production update the group also recorded increased production across its mines in South Africa.

Unkiis the third largest platinum producer in the country after Zimplats and Mimosa mines.

“Production from Unki increased 14 percent to 19 000 ounces due to improved running time of the concentrators and increased head grade,” Amplats said.

Group platinum production increasedfour percent to 567,000 ounces due to a rise in production at Amandelbult, Mogalakwena in South Africa and Unki.

Amplats said refined platinum production for the quarter was materially impacted by a planned stock take at the Precious Metals Refinery (PMR) and a Section 54 stoppage which closed the refinery for 12 days.

“Due to the crash stop nature of the Section 54 stoppage, there was a period of process instability at the PMR, which impacted production for a subsequent 37 days until 6 April 2016.

“As a result refined platinum production decreased by 52 percent to 261 000 ounces with similar decreases for palladium and rhodium during the period,” it said.

“The PMR has since been brought back to steady state operation and it is anticipated that these shortfalls in refined production in Q1 2016 will be caught up in Q2 and Q3 2016. This will have a short term impact on the financial position of the Company at the end of H1 2016.”

The group still maintain full year production guidance at 2,3 to 2,4 million ounces while unit cost guidance remains between R19,250 – R19,750 per produced platinum ounce.