Tonnes milled from Implats’s managed operations increased by 7% to 23.88 million tonnes (FY2022: 22.36 million tonnes) with higher reported volumes at each of Impala Rustenburg,
Zimplats and Impala Canada together with a consolidated contribution of 403 000 tonnes at RBPlat offsetting lower throughput at Marula. 6E production at managed operations increased by 6% to 2.42 million ounces (FY2022: 2.29 million ounces), and a maiden contribution of 43 000 6E ounces in concentrate from RBPlat was recorded for the 30 days to 30 June 2023.
6E concentrate production of 541 000 ounces from JV operations declined by 1% (FY2022: 548 000 ounces). Safety stoppages, and intermittent localised community disruptions at Two Rivers exacerbated the ongoing impact of split-reef and development
tonnage on milled grade. At Mimosa, processing and plant stability was impacted by commissioning and optimising the concentrator project, power interruptions, changes in reagent supply and poor water quality. Third-party 6E concentrate receipts declined by 18% to 287 000 6E ounces, with several operational challenges reported at peer-group producers
and the termination of two contracts in Q3 FY2023. In total, Group 6E production increased by 2% to 3.25 million ounces (FY2022: 3.19 million ounces).
In addition to load curtailment at South African managed and JV operations during the period, severe load shedding was experienced across the Zimbabwean national grid in March 2023. In total, Implats estimates 36 000 6E ounces of production were foregone across southern African managed and JV operations during the period.
Circa 101 000 6E ounces were deferred due to power constraints at the Group’s smelting operations and the consequent delay to restart the refurbished Number 4 furnace in Q4 FY2023. A further 10 000 6E ounces were deferred due to cable theft at Impala Rustenburg, particularly the instance which resulted in power supply interruptions to the metallurgical complex.
Group refined 6E production of 2.96 million ounces, including saleable production from Impala Canada and RBPlat, declined by 4% (FY2022: 3.09 million ounces), impacted by constrained smelting capacity from the scheduled rebuild of Number 4 furnace in Rustenburg and the increased severity and duration of load curtailment experienced. Implats ended the period with circa 245 000 6E ounces of excess inventory (FY2022: 40 000 ounces).
Notable rand depreciation compounded the impact of high consumable and utilities inflation on the translated cost and capital expenditure at Zimbabwean and Canadian operations. Total cash operating costs increased by 19%, while unit costs benefitted from higher throughput at managed operations and, despite lower refined output, increased by 14% to R19 834 per 6E ounces (FY2022: R17 364 per 6E ounce).
Capital expenditure at managed operations rose by 27% to R11.5 billion (FY2022: R9.1 billion) as spending on replacement and growth projects accelerated and the rand weakened against the dollar. Stay-in-business spend of R7.3 billion, replacement capital of R2.3 billion and expansion capital of R1.9 billion increased by 16%, 61% and 41%, respectively.