Zimplats increases mining output

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ZIMBABWE Platinum Mines (Zimplats) says it improved its mined tonnage by nine percent to 3,6 million tonnes for the six months ended December 31, as a result of improved fleet productivity and additional tonnes milled at the Mupani Mine, which is under development.

Development of Mupani Mine replaces Zimplats’ two older mines, Rukodzi Mine and Ngwarati Mine once they are mined out and closed.

“Tonnes mined during the half year increased by nine percent to 3,6 million tonnes compared to the same period last year benefiting from improved fleet productivity and additional tonnage from Mupani Mine which is still under development,” Alex Mhembere, Zimplats chief executive said.

He added that tonnes milled increased by two percent to 3,4-million tonnes mainly owing to an increase in the milling rates at both concentrators.

“This was mainly due to an increase in the milling rates and good running time at both concentrators. Selous Metallurgical Complex concentrator benefited from the positive impact of the High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR) project which was commissioned in the second quarter of the year under review.

“The Ngezi concentrator achieved a higher average milling rate due to a steady ore supply,” Mhembere said.
Zimplats says the development of Mupani Mine, serves as a replacement for the Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines, is ahead of schedule and will be receiving its first mining fleet from the Rukodzi Mine in the second half of the financial year.

“Focus is currently on establishing the surface crushing infrastructure to treat current ore production for feed to the concentrators. Mupani Mine targets full production in August 2025. A total of US$79,4 million had been spent as at 31 December 2019 against an approved project budget of US$264 million.”

Mupani is expected to have a life-of-mine of 34 years, and increase Zimplats’ resource by three million ounces.
Further, the redevelopment of Bimha Mine is also progressing well. Installation of the south underground crusher and the ore-conveyancing system was completed during the half year. The focus is now on completing the two underground workshops. A total of US$90 million had been spent as at December 31, 2019 against a project budget of US$101 million.

The platinum mining group also increased its half year revenue by 29 percent to US$377,7 million compared to the same period last year largely driven by an increase in average metal prices.

The gross revenue per six elements (6E) ounce for the period was $1 494 per ounce, 47 percent higher than the $1 018 per ounce for the same period last year.

The 6E comprise platinum, palladium, gold, rhodium, ruthenium and iridium.

Zimplats has revealed that it has recorded an improved tonnage output for the six months ended December 31, 2019.

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