Impala Rustenburg’s tonnes milled during the quarter ended 31 March 2021 increased by 6% to 2.51 million tonnes, compared to 2.37 million tonnes in the prior comparable period. Impala Rustenburg benefitted from an efficient start-up in January, despite the logistical complexities of managing employees’ return to work during the ongoing pandemic.
The period also saw the operation faced with interrupted power supply, increased illegal mining activity and intermittent industrial action across the contractor workforce.
Grade improvements reflect successful targeted management strategies and benefitted from reduced dilution following the completion of the 16 Shaft orepass system rehabilitation. Milled grade increased by 2% to 4.03g/t, while improved recoveries and yield from higher tailings volumes resulted in 6E concentrate production increasing by 12%, or 32 000 ounces, to 307 000 ounces.
In the prior comparable period, an estimated 6% of production volume, equating to 17 500 ounces 6E, was foregone due to the implementation of care and maintenance ahead of the national lockdown.
Refined 6E production of 296 000 ounces declined by 14% during the quarter from 343 000 ounces in the prior corresponding period. This was due to the normalisation of stock allocation between IRS and Impala Rustenburg, compounded by the impact of Eskom load curtailment and scheduled maintenance at the Rustenburg processing facilities in March.
NINE MONTHS ENDED 31 MARCH 2021
Tonnes milled were unchanged at 8.1 million tonnes and the milled grade of 4.03g/t (6E) improved by 3%. Improved recoveries and higher tailings volumes resulted in a 4% increase in 6E concentrate production volumes to 967 000 ounces.
Refined 6E production declined by 7% to 1.03 million ounces from 1.10 million ounces in the previous comparable period, due to a normalising of the stock allocation between Impala Rustenburg and IRS.