Tharisa shows a healthy rise in pro­duc­tion

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Di­neo Faku

JSE-LISTED plat­inum and chrome pro­ducer Tharisa Min­er­als has posted strong pro­duc­tion num­bers for the third quar­ter and main­tained its pro­duc­tion guid­ance for the 2017 fi­nan­cial year.

Tharisa chief ex­ec­u­tive Pho­evos Pouroulis said the com­pany had again achieved in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ments in pro­duc­tion vol­umes and re­cov­er­ies.

“We con­tinue to ex­am­ine ways to fur­ther op­ti­mise our operations, and look for­ward to achiev­ing our tar­geted re­cov­er­ies and pro­duc­tion out­look for the fi­nan­cial year,” Pouroulis said.

Tharisa op­er­ates Tharisa Mine 95km north-west of Jo­han­nes­burg.

The com­pany said that de­spite marginally lower through­put, to­tal pro­duc­tion of plat­inum-group met­als (PGM) and chrome in­creased 3 per­cent and 6 per­cent re­spec­tively com­pared with the com­pany’s se­cond quar­ter.

It said PGM and chrome re­cov­er­ies ex­ceeded their tar­gets for the quar­ter, with PGM re­cov­er­ies at 81.3 per­cent, com­pared with a tar­get of 80 per­cent, and chrome re­cov­er­ies at 66 per­cent, against a tar­get of 65 per­cent.

On track

Tharisa said pro­duc­tion of PGM and chrome re­mained on track to meet the pro­duc­tion guid­ance for the 2017 fi­nan­cial year of about 147 400 ounces and 1.3 mil­lion tons re­spec­tively.

Of the 1.3 mil­lion tons of chrome con­cen­trate, 300 000 tons would be spe­cial­ity grade, it said.

In terms of price fore­casts, Tharisa, said the av­er­age PGM bas­ket price for the three months to the end of June was R10 443 ($792) an ounce, which was $9 an ounce higher than the R10 355 ($783) in the quar­ter to the end of March.

Tharisa said the price of met­al­lur­gi­cal-grade chrome con­cen­trate had dropped from $338 a ton to $147 a ton.

There were signs that prices had found a floor, and of in­creased price sta­bil­ity in the chrome con­cen­trate mar­ket, it said.

“De­spite Chi­nese port stock lev­els of 2.46 mil­lion tons, liq­uid­ity has re­turned on the back of con­tin­ued stain­less steel de­mand and con­sump­tion out of China.

“The fun­da­men­tals of the global stain­less steel mar­ket re­main sound, with con­tin­ued growth forecast in 2017 fur­ther sup­port­ing strong de­mand for chrome units in the form of fer­rochrome and chrome ores,” the com­pany said.

The group said it was study­ing Min­ing Char­ter III and the way for­ward to en­sure that it com­plied with the con­tro­ver­sial char­ter, which Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane pub­lished in the Gov­ern­ment Gazette last month.

“Tharisa re­mains com­mit­ted to trans­for­ma­tion in the min­ing in­dus­try,” it said.

Last week Tharisa no­ti­fied share­hold­ers that the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion had ap­proved the ac­qui­si­tion of MCC Con­tract Min­ing’s equip­ment, strate­gic com­po­nents, site in­fra­struc­ture and spare parts, and the trans­fer the em­ploy­ees at Tharisa Mine.

Tharisa shares dipped 0.07 per­cent on the JSE yes­ter­day to close at R13.98.

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