Zimplats Q1 production falls 1st May 2012
Zimplats, the Zimbabwean arm of Impala Platinum, has reported a two per cent drop in production in the three months to the end of March.
Output slipped from 97,174 4E platinum group metal (pgm) ounces in the December quarter to 94,321 oz in the first three months of the year.
This was still six per cent up on the first quarter of 2011, when metal in concentrate stood at 89,260 oz.
Mining of ore was down by one per cent, with the company blaming this on an illegal industrial action by a section of the workforce, which resulted in two and half production shifts being lost.
Tonnes of ore milled were four per cent lower than the prior quarter, owing to scheduled major plant maintenance shutdowns.
The operations were put under power load shedding from March 9th to March 23rd, which resulted in the furnace operating at less than half its capacity.
Head grade improved by one per cent on the previous quarter, which partially offset the drop in ore milled.
Pgm sales were down three per cent on the quarter to 89,979 oz from 93,001. Again, this was an improvement of six per cent from a year ago, when the figure was 85,069 oz.
Zimplats also reported that implementation of the Ngezi Phase II Project is “progressing well and according to plan”.