Loom­ing land grab still hangs over Zim­plats

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Harare Tawanda Karombo

PROFIT in Im­pala Plat­inum’s unit in Zim­babwe is down de­spite a rev­enue and pro­duc­tion in­crease as the com­pany read­ies to bring back its col­lapsed Bimha mine in the coun­try next year.

Zim­plats, the big­gest min­ing house in Zim­babwe, is how­ever fac­ing threats over a loom­ing land grab af­ter the gov­ern­ment ap­plied to the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Court to pass the com­pul­sory takeover of nearly 27 000 hectares of land con­tain­ing plat­inum claims.

The com­pany said prof­its for the quar­ter to the end of June plum­met 28 per­cent to $30.2 mil­lion (R399.18m)com­pared to the pre­ced­ing quar­ter com­pared to the $25.6m profit af­ter roy­al­ties recorded dur­ing the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year.

Zim­plats said net op­er­at­ing costs for the quar­ter in­creased by 28 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, largely due to the 16 per­cent in­crease in sales vol­umes. Net “op­er­at­ing ex­penses for the pre­vi­ous quar­ter ben­e­fited from the $8m recog­nised in re­la­tion to the pre­vi­ously writ­ten off Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe debt”.

The com­pany paid $3.5m in min­eral roy­al­ties for the re­view quar­ter pe­riod, which is 11 per­cent down com­pared to the 2016 June quar­ter roy­alty pay­ments.

Cash costs per ounce marginally in­creased by one per­cent to $620 while to­tal pay­ments to gov­ern­ment in di­rect and in­di­rect taxes in­creased to $51m from the $10m re­ported in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

In terms of pro­duc­tion, Zim­plats mined 11 per­cent more ore at 1.8 mil­lion tons at a head grade of 3.2 grams per ton against a re­cov­ery rate of 80.8 per­cent. Ore milled jumped 12 per­cent to 1.8 mil­lion tons com­pared to the 2016 June quar­ter.

“4E head grade, at 3.24g/t, was marginally lower than the pre­vi­ous quar­ter due to di­lu­tion from faults and bar­ren ge­o­log­i­cal in­tru­sives in the ar­eas mined dur­ing the quar­ter. Ore milled and 4E metal in con­cen­trate pro­duced in­creased by 18 per­cent and 17 per­cent re­spec­tively ow­ing to an in­crease in the over­all plant run­ning time due to the ex­tra nine days,” Zim­plats said.

The com­pany said it had lodged an ob­jec­tion to the pro­posed ac­qui­si­tion and was now locked in fur­ther ne­go­ti­a­tions with the gov­ern­ment to “find an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion”.

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