Impala Platinum 6E sales volumes of 838 000 ounces declined by 3%

Impala Platinum has reported that its Gross Group concentrate production declined by 2% to 768 000 ounces in the Quarter ended 31 March 2022. Tonnes milled at managed

operations decreased by 4% to 5.36 million tonnes during the quarter, with higher volumes at Marula and stable production at Zimplats offset by lower production at Impala Rustenburg and Impala Canada.

A 2% decrease in milled grade to 3.57g/t 6E was offset by improved recoveries, resulting in 6E concentrate production at managed operations declining by 5% to 543 000 ounces. 6E concentrate production from the joint ventures at Mimosa and Two Rivers increased by 1% to 136 000 ounces.

At Impala Refining Services (IRS), 6E in concentrate receipts from third-party customers increased by 13% to 89 000 ounces.

Refined 6E production, which includes saleable ounces from Impala Canada, declined by 8% to

735 000 ounces. Production in the quarter was impacted by lower concentrate volumes, while the prior comparable period benefitted from a reduction in excess stock levels.

6E sales volumes of 838 000 ounces declined by 3% with some destocking of finished metal inventory to mitigate the impact of lower refined output. Sales volumes in the prior comparable period benefitted from the destocking of iridium and ruthenium as demand and pricing for these metals improved.

Nine months ended 31 March 2022

Group production in the nine-month period was negatively impacted by several operational challenges across the Group. A notable impact on production was recorded after extended safety stoppages, intermittent industrial action and power supply interruptions at Impala Rustenburg, and supply chain and labour availability constraints at Impala Canada. Tonnes milled from managed operations declined by 4% to 16.66 million tonnes, while the average 6E mill grade declined by 1% to 3.60g/t.

The 4% decrease in mine-to-market 6E concentrate production to 2.11 million ounces reflected the impact of lower contributions from Impala Rustenburg, Impala Canada and Mimosa, which offset the benefit of stable volumes from Zimplats and Two Rivers, and a record result at Marula. Received 6E third-party and toll material in concentrate, of 277 000 ounces, was stable relative to the prior comparable period and, in total, gross 6E concentrate production decreased 3% to 2.38 million ounces.

Refined 6E production in the prior comparable period benefitted from increased processing availability due to the timing of annual processing maintenance. In the period under review, scheduled maintenance in Q1 FY2022, together with lower concentrate production and the full rebuild required at the Number 3 furnace in Rustenburg, resulted in total gross refined 6E production declining by 6% to 2.35 million ounces.

Changes in concentrate feeds and individual metal pipelines resulted in a decline in minor PGM production, while refined nickel volumes increased by 4%. Impala Rustenburg’s refined 6E production declined by 16% to 860 000 ounces in the period under review, while refined volumes at IRS increased by 2% to 1.32 million ounces.

6E sales volumes of 2.38 million ounces decreased by 4% from the prior comparable period, which benefitted from destocking of iridium and ruthenium as demand and pricing strengthened during the nine-month period a year ago.

Outlook and guidance

In the revisions to annual guidance provided with the release of Implats’ half year results ended 31

December 2021, the Group considered and factored in the impact of an increasingly complex operating environment due to global geopolitical events, persistent supply chain constraints and rising inflation. As such, Implats remains on track to meet the parameters provided for production, unit costs and capital expenditure metrics. 

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