Unki PGM output jumps 38pc

05 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Unki PGM output jumps 38pc Unki represents one of the largest platinum reserves in Zimbabwe having estimated reserves of 34 million oz of platinum.

The Herald

Nelson Gahadza-Business Reporter

Platinum group production (PGM) production at Unkie Mine increased by 38 percent to 66 300 ounces during the quarter to June 30, 2022  driven by increased concentrator capacity.

Parent company Anglo-American Platinum Limited, in its quarterly update, said the concentrator debottlenecking project, which was completed during the fourth quarter of 2021 increased concentrator capacity to 210 000 tonnes per month (ktpm) from 180 ktpm.

“Increased mining to fill capacity led to a 24 percent increase in tonnes milled,” said Unkie. It added that the 4E built-up head grade increased 12 percent to 3.87 g/t returning to a more normalised grade.

The Unki mine is an underground mine located in the centre part of Zimbabwe in Gweru, Midlands Province. Unki represents one of the largest platinum reserves in Zimbabwe having estimated reserves of 34 million oz of platinum.

Apart from Unkie, Zimbabwe has two other major platinum players, Zimplats and Mimosa, which are majority owned by South African mining giants. Government has since ordered the companies to construct smelters and refineries as part of the country’s beneficiation thrust.

During the period under review, platinum production increased by 38 percent to 29 700 ounces and palladium production increased by 37 percent to 25,700 ounces.

Tonnes milled at Unkie during the quarter under review at 625 000 ounces lower than 630 000 ounces recorded in the prior quarter.

Anglo-plat chief executive officer Natasha Viljoen commenting on the group’s performance for the quarter said despite total PGM production being marginally lower in the second quarter against the same period last year, there has been improved stability across the operations. She said that lower mined production was due to Mogalakwena mining through a low-grade area in line with the mine plan.

“Mototolo and Unkie mines both had a strong performance, as both operations completed the integration of the concentrator debottlenecking projects,” she said.

She said the group will continue to work on the building blocks of its strategy to ensure delivery of sustainable value creation.

According to the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC),  global platinum surplus is fragile amid supply risks and growing demand, a development set to benefit Zimbabwe which is a key player in the global platinum industry.

Zimbabwe is known to have the world’s second biggest known deposits of platinum after South Africa.

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