Tharisa, the platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome co-producer dual-listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges, has said “The PGM market, while pricing overall lower compared to the beginning of the year, is holding up well supported by the continued tight supply-demand fundamentals of the various elements.
Slowing economic growth will influence the demand side, however, slowdown in supply and no major new projects coming online within the next 24 months means any demand increase is expected to lead to price increases. Recycling continues to slow requiring shortfalls to be met from primary supply
The quarter continued to be overshadowed by significant external factors including the war in Ukraine, concerns about inflationary cost pressures, supply chain constraints and zero Covid policy in China. Nonetheless, higher prices were achieved during the quarter for chrome against the backdrop of destocking of port inventory and robust ferrochrome & stainless-steel production in China.
Tharisa expects a price retreat in the next quarter although implementation of various stimuli in China and / or supply disruptions would reduce the extent of such a threat.
- Total reef mined of 1 357.1 kt (Q2 FY2022 1 419.7 kt)
- Stripping ratio of 14.2 m3: m3 (Q2 FY2022 12.7 m3: m3) ensuring flexibility is maintained and stockpile management optimised
- Tonnes milled maintained due to a strong mining performance while ROM stockpiles stand at two months, in line with the current mine schedule
PGM output at 42.1 koz (Q2 FY2022 44.1 koz)
- Normalised grade at 1.65 g/t (Q2 FY2022 1.74 g/t)
- Recoveries at 75.6% (Q2 FY2022 75.4%)
Chrome production of 389.7 kt up 3.9% from the previous quarter (Q2 FY2022 374.9 kt)
- Cr2O3 grade at 17.0% (Q2 FY2022 17.1%)
- Recoveries at 70.2% (Q2 FY2022 67.8%)
Vulcan Plant technology proven to work well as overall chrome recoveries increase
KARO PLATINUM UPDATE
- Key management positions are being filled
- Orders for long-lead items are being placed
- ESIA for concentrator and infrastructure has been submitted to the authorities
- Given inflationary pressures, the implementation team is reviewing the capex budgets
- Financing discussions continuing with multiple funding solutions being targeted
- National Project Status benefits being negotiated
FY2022 production guidance maintained at between 165 koz and 175 koz PGMs (6E basis). Guidance for chrome production is reduced by 10% to between 1.55 Mt and 1.65 Mt due to lower chrome feed grade and slower Vulcan Plant ramp-up