Operational continuity at Implats’ Marula mine was negatively impacted in the first quarter 2021 by community related interruptions during the quarter. Development efficiencies continued to outstrip those of stoping crews, resulting in lower than planned mined volumes and a materially lower reported milled grade.
Milled volumes increased by 6% to 456 000 tonnes, while grade declined by 14% to 4.35g/t. 6E concentrate production benefitted from improved recoveries and additional metal recovered from concentrate sludge and increased by 9%, or 5 000 ounces, to 60 000 ounces.
In the prior comparable period, an estimated 6% of production volume, equating to 3 500 ounces 6E, was foregone due to the implementation of care and maintenance ahead of the start of the national lockdown.
In nine months ended 31 March 2021, Mill throughput declined by 1% to 1.39 million tonnes. The 7% decline in milled head grade was offset by improved recoveries because of additional ounces released from previously locked-up in-process metal and 6E concentrate production increased by 1% to 181 000 ounces.