JOHANNESBURG: The board of Impala Platinum (Implats) will consider the recently completed bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the potential development of a new mining portal at its Zimplats subsidiary when the study is presented in November.
The proposed $260-million Portal 6 is a 2.2-million-tonne-a-year replacement for the Rukodzi and the Ngwarati mines, which are being depleted.
“Once approved, the planned project will access 4.65-million 4E [platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold] ounces of reserves through high-productivity modern mechanised mining methods,” outgoing Implats CEO Terence Goodlace outlined in Implats’ first-quarter production report on Friday.
The three months to September 30, saw the completion of the BFS, as well as the start of preliminary early works related to accessing and excavating the boxcut position.
The group will release the full project details once the company’s approval processes have been completed. This emerged as Zimplats continued to excel “from a health, safety and production perspective” during the first three months of the current financial year.
Zero lost time was reported during the first quarter under review as the operation’s mill throughput increased by 5.5% to 1.7-million tonnes and platinum in matte production increased by 3.6% to 68 400 oz.
Zimplats remained in discussion with the government regarding its indigenisation implementation plan, as well as the order authorising the acquisition of a portion of the mining lease area, which is pending in the Administrative Court.
The company continued to engage the government with a view to reaching an amicable resolution of the matter, Zimplats noted in its own production report.
Overall, Implats recorded a 20% increase in production during the first quarter of the year, with gross refined platinum production reaching 365 200 oz.
“Our growth momentum in platinum production, which started last year, has continued following a 20% increase in output over the last quarter,” Goodlace said.Advertisement
In addition to Zimplats, sustained good operational performances were seen from Marula, Mimosa, Two Rivers and Impala Refining Services (IRS).
During the three months to September 30, Impala Rustenburg delivered a 22% increase in refined platinum production to 150 600 oz, while Two Rivers increased its platinum-in-concentrate output by 11.4% to 49 300 oz.
Marula and Mimosa Platinum maintained their respective platinum-in-concentrate output at 21 200 oz and 30 500 oz.