Unki mine production flat in Q2
UNKI Mine production for the second quarter ended 30 June 2014 was flat at 15 000 ounces, parent company Anglo American Platinum (Angloplat) has said.
The group said in the first quarter, Unki’s platinum output jumped 4 percent, a factor the company then attributed to higher volumes delivered to the concentrator and throughput at the mills.
However, the production figures for the two quarters of 2015 remain below guidance compared to 67 000 ounces produced same period last year.
Angloplat has so far invested $350 million in Unki since it started operations, producing 67 000 refined platinum ounces in 2013 and production has been on a steady rise since 2011.
Angloplat said the long-drawn-out strike had no material effect on Unki and the group’s other South Africa-based platinum mine the Mogalakwena and other joint operations and associates.
“The industrial action did not impact production at the Mogalakwena and Unki mines nor at the majority of the joint operations and associates.
“Mogalakwena mine’s production increased by 23 percent to 96 000 ounces, due to higher achieved 4E head grade and increased concentrator throughput, supported by the mining productivity improvement programmes.” said the group.
Unki is the third largest platinum producer in Zimbabwe.
The smaller mines notwithstanding, Angloplat said the huge South Africa-based platinum producers were negatively impacted by the strike, which led to a decline in overall refined platinum output.
“Equivalent refined platinum production decreased by 40 percent to 358 000 ounces, primarily due to the industrial action, which began on 23 January 2014 and which affected the Rustenburg,
Amandelbult and Union mines in South Africa. The industrial action concluded on 24 June 2014. The total platinum ounces lost due to the industrial action for the second quarter was 239,000 ounces.
“Total lost production from the industrial action during H1 2014 was 424 000 ounces and a further 16,000 ounces has been lost during the ramp up of operations as “safe return to work” procedures are undertaken before mining can commence. In addition, production was 44,000 ounces lower due to the consolidation of mines at Rustenburg and Union as part of the restructuring in 2013.”
The group said sales to both contractual and non-contractual (spot) customers continued at normal levels supplemented by refined platinum stock. -FinX