Unki Mine platinum production up 6 %

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By Alois Vinga

ANGLO American Platinum’s (Amplts) Zimbabwean unit, Unki Mine, has recorded a 6% increase in platinum production, a recently released third quarter performance report has revealed.

The report says in the third quarter of 2019, platinum production reached 23 700 ounces up from 23 100 ounces recorded in the second quarter of 2019, representing 6 %  in crease in production.

In the first nine months of 2019, the Shurugwi based mining unit produced 66 100 ounces up from 63 900 ounces reflecting a 3 % increase.

The developments come at a time when Unki Mine completed a $62 million platinum smelting plant this year. Construction of the plant took off in 2016 with an objective to improve value addition.

Overally , Anglo- American recorded a decrease in platinum production while own- mined platinum production increased.

“Platinum production decreased by 1% to 526,800 ounces while palladium production was flat at 351,800 ounces.

“Own mined platinum production increased by 6% to 351,700 ounces and palladium production increased by 5% to 262,700 ounces due to the inclusion of 100% of Mototolo volumes following the acquisition of the remaining,” the report said.

The mining giant said purchase of platinum in concentrate decreased by 11 % to 175,100 ounces and of palladium decreased by 12% to 89 000 ounces due to lower purchases from joint ventures, as Mototolo became 100% owned in November 2018.

Refined platinum production increased by 4% to 578,600 ounces and refined palladium production increased by 13% to 362,100 ounces.

Platinum sales volumes increased by 1% to 537,400 ounces and palladium sales volumes decreased by 2% to 316,900.

Amplats chief executive, Mark Cutifani added: “Production is up 4% for the quarter, driven by the continued successful ramp-up at Minas-Rio and strong performance at Metallurgical Coal. De Beers’s production is lower, as expected, with Victor mine now at the end of its life and the transition of Venetia to underground.

“We remain broadly on track to deliver within our full year production targets, with an increase in production guidance at Minas-Rio. We expect to deliver to our production guidance for Copper and Thermal Coal, albeit at the lower end of their ranges; with copper working to mitigate the effect of drought conditions in central Chile.”