Stillwater reports 1Q PGM production declines
Stillwater Mining, the sole U.S. PGM miner, said it had produced 120,800 ounces of palladium and platinum combined during the first quarter of this year, down from 131,200 ounces mined during the first quarter of 2011.
Nevertheless, the Billings, Montana-based company reiterated its full year 2012 production guidance of 500,000 ounces of mined production.
Specifically, Stillwater mined 93,400 ounces of palladium and 27,400 ounces of platinum during the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, Stillwater’s recycling facilities processed a total of 107,300 combined ounces of palladium, platinum and rhodium during the first quarter, down from 115,600 ounces of recycled PGMs processed during the first-quarter of 2011. The decrease was attributed to the reduced availability of recycling material “driven by lower PGM prices during the first quarter of this year.”
Stillwater CEO Frank McAllister observed, “Due to the exceptionally strong production results during the first quarter of last year, we did see lower output in this year’s first quarter, although production results remain essentially on plan and we are maintaining our 500,000 ounce target for 2012 mine production.”
The company announced it has completed its transaction with the Mitsubishi Corporation in which the Japanese company has acquired a 25% interest in the Marathon PGM-copper project for a cash payment of USD$81.25 million. In addition, the two companies have contributed their respective 75%/25% shares of an initial $54.5 million Marathon cash call with $40.9 million coming from Stillwater and $13.6 million coming from Mitsubishi.
Stillwater also reported the Altar copper-gold project 2011-2012 exploration season is now concluded with the onset of winter in the Andes.
McAllister emphasized that the company has committed to CORESafety, a U.S. mining industry safety initiative endorsed by the National Mining Association. “Under CORESafety, Stillwater will work with its mining industry peers toward a collective target of eliminating fatal accidents and sharply reducing the frequency of on-the job injuries within the mining industry over the next few years,” the company said.
Source: Mine Web