Business Reporter
Anglo American Platinum recorded a 14 percent increase in production for the first quarter of 2016 on its Zimbabwe mining unit, Unki Mine due to improved running time of the concentrators and increased head grade.

Unki mine realised 19 000 ounces during the period.

Total platinum production for Anglo American Platinum went up four percent to 567 000 ounces during the quarter.

Platinum production from own mines and tailings retreatment increased 7 percent to 381 000 ounces from 357 000 ounces due to higher production from Amandelbult, Mogalakwena and Unki, partially offset by lower production at Rustenburg.

“Amandelbult increased by 33 percent to 111 000 ounces due to improved mining efficiencies and increased concentrator recoveries. Production at Mogalakwena increased 7 percent to 109 000 ounces due to higher grade and improved concentrator throughput.

“Production from Unki increased 14 percent to 19 000 ounces due to improved running time of the concentrators and increased head grade. In total, production from retained own mine operations increased 18 percent compared to the prior period,” said the platinum mining group in a statement.

Group platinum production (expressed as metal in concentrate) increased 4 percent to 567 000 ounces due to an increase in production at Amandelbult, Mogalakwena and Unki, partially offset by lower production at Rustenburg.

Refined platinum production decreased 52 percent during the period to 261 000 ounces due to a planned stock take at the PMR and a Section 54 Stoppage which closed the Precious Metals Refinery for 12 days, and materially impacted production for a subsequent 37 days.

Anglo’s Union mine had a solid performance during the quarter, maintaining production at 34,000 ounces. Rustenburg (including Western Limb Tailings Retreatment) production decreased by 15 000 ounces to 106 000 ounces due to mining through difficult ground areas and lower grade.

Production from Joint Venture Operations and Associates (mined and purchased), excluding third party purchase of concentrate, increased six percent to 185,000 ounces due to improved production at Kroondal, BRPM and Mototolo.

“Refined platinum production for the quarter was materially impacted by a planned stock take at the PMR and a Section 54 stoppage which closed the PMR 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 April 6, 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,” said the platinum mining group.

“The PMR has since been brought back to steady state operation and it is anticipated that these shortfalls in refined production in the first quarter of 2016 will be caught up in the second and third quarter of 2016.

“This will have a short term impact on the financial position of the Company at the end of the first half 2016.”

AngloPlat said the full year guidance of 2,3 to 2,4 million ounces of produced production remains unchanged.

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