Harare – Despite depressed commodity prices, first quarter revenues in
Zimplats – the local unit of world number two platinum producer, Impala Platinum – increased by 16%, with ore mined during the period also rising 6%, the company said on Thursday morning.
Zimplats is Zimbabwe’s biggest mining company and operates the massive Ngezi complex.
However, the company has had to ride strong headwinds such as the government planning to take over nearly 27 000 hectares of land
belonging to it and also being forced to give away majority shares under the empowerment policy.
Ore mined during the first quarter to the end of September increased by 6% to 1,294 000 tonnes. The Mimosa mine, another Zimbabwean platinum mine jointly run by Implats and Aquarius Platinum last week reported a quarterly production of 55 110 ounces for the period to the end of September.
“Tonnes mined increased by 6% from the previous quarter following the introduction of two production fleets at the Mupfuti Mine in the quarter,” Zimplats said on Thursday.
It said production at its Bimha mine had however declined by 21,000 tonnes from the previous period “due to the effects of a shear zone which is impacting mining operations”.
Zimplats saw revenues for the quarter period surge by 16% to $145,5 million compared with the previous quarter. This translated to a 77% jump in operating profit which amounted to $ 39,8 million.
Compared to the previous quarter, Zimplats’ operating costs at $105 696 000, were 2% lower.
“While metal sales volumes remained largely unchanged from the previous period, revenues increased by 16% as a result of price adjustments on pipeline sales made at year-end (June 2013). Consequently, operating profit increased by 77% to $39.8 million.”
Zimplats said cash production costs per ounce were 16% higher than the previous quarter, largely as a result of lower platinum production and increases in the effective electricity tariff and trackless mining equipment maintenance rates.
The company’s local spend (excluding payments to government and related institutions) remained unchanged at $42 million. It had paid $32 million to the government in direct and indirect taxes, 7% higher than the previous quarter.
This was “largely as a result of an increase in withholding tax on foreign services, royalties on metal sales and withholding taxes on technical fees”.