Impala Platinum concentrate production declined overall by 2%

During the quarter ended 31 March 2022 at Impala Rustenburg, tonnes milled during the quarter decreased by 10% to 2.27 million tonnes, impacted by extended safety stoppages and the ongoing impact of cable theft, electricity curtailment and community disruptions.

The Section 54 safety stoppage at 16 Shaft, which followed a fatality at end-November 2021, was lifted in mid-January and full production was restored by end-February 2022. The Section 54 safety stoppage at 6 Shaft, following three fatalities in a mud inundation at the bottom of the shaft at end- November 2021, was lifted in early March 2022, with full production expected during April 2022.

Grade was impacted by lower production from the high-grade shafts and decreased by 5% to 3.81g/t 6E, partially offset by improved recoveries and yield gains, resulting in 6E concentrate production declining by 11% to 274 000 ounces.

Refined 6E production of 210 000 ounces declined by 29% from the prior comparable period, due to lower production volumes coupled with reduced available processing capacity flowing from the Number 3 furnace rebuild. The furnace rebuild was progressed according to plan, with heat-up initiated in mid-April 2022 and the first matte tap scheduled for May 2022.

Nine months ended 31 March 2022

Milled volumes declined by 10% to 7.26 million tonnes, while mill grade of 3.92g/t 6E was 3% lower.

Higher recoveries and yield gains contained the decrease in 6E concentrate production volumes to

9%, with 882 000 ounces recorded.

Refined 6E production declined by 16% to 860 000 ounces due to lower mined production and the impact of the furnace rebuild.

Marula Quarter ended 31 March 2022

During the quarter ended 31 March 2022, Marula platinum mine continued its strong performance in the period under review, with an 8% increase in tonnes milled to 491 000 tonnes and a 2% improvement in milled grade to 4.42g/t 6E. 6E concentrate production increased by 5% to 62 000 ounces. Production in the prior comparable period benefitted from additional metal recovered from concentrate sludge.

Nine months ended 31 March 2022

Marula delivered record production in the nine months, with tonnes milled up 9% to 1.51 million tonnes, milled 6E head grade 3% higher at 4.51g/t and 6E concentrate production increasing by 9% to 197 000 ounces.

Mimosa Quarter ended 31 March 2022

Milling operations at Mimosa were negatively impacted by power interruptions and a planned plant shutdown, which together with elevated water impurities impeded process recoveries. Ongoing work to improve plant performance yielded recovery benefits towards period end.

Milled volumes of 678 000 tonnes declined by 2% and the marginal decrease in milled head grade to 3.84g/t 6E was compounded by lower recoveries, resulting in a 6% decrease in 6E production in concentrate to 60 000 ounces.

Nine months ended 31 March 2022

Plant stability and recoveries were negatively impacted by power interruptions, changes in reagent supply due to constrained supply chains and poor water quality. Tonnes milled declined by 2% and milled 6E head grade was 1% lower in the nine-month period. Lower recoveries resulted in a 6% decline in 6E concentrate production volumes to 184 000 ounces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *