Zimplats to decide on proposed portal replacement this month
THE board of Impala Platinum (Implats) will consider the recently completed bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the potential development of a new mining portal at its Zimplats subsidiary when the study is presented this month.
The proposed $260-million Portal 6 is a 2.2-million-tonne-a-year replacement for the Rukodzi and the Ngwarati mines, which are being depleted.
“Once approved, the planned project will access 4.65-million 4E [platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold] ounces of reserves through high-productivity modern mechanised mining methods,” outgoing Implats CEO Terence Goodlace outlined in Implats’ first-quarter production report on Friday.
The three months to September 30, saw the completion of the BFS, as well as the start of preliminary early works related to accessing and excavating the boxcut position.
The group will release the full project details once the company’s approval processes have been completed. This emerged as Zimplats continued to excel “from a health, safety and production perspective” during the first three months of the current financial year.
Zero lost time was reported during the first quarter under review as the operation’s mill throughput increased by 5.5 percent to 1.7 million tonnes and platinum in matte production increased by 3.6 percent to 68 400oz.
Zimplats remains in discussion with the Zimbabwean government regarding its indigenisation implementation plan, as well as the order authorising the acquisition of a portion of the mining lease area, which is pending in the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe.
The company continues to engage the government with a view to reaching an amicable resolution of the matter, Zimplats noted in its own production report.
Overall, Implats recorded a 20 percent increase in production during the first quarter of the year, with gross refined platinum production reaching 365 200 oz.
“Our growth momentum in platinum production, which started last year, has continued following a 20 percent increase in output over the last quarter,” Goodlace said.
In addition to Zimplats, sustained good operational performances were seen from Marula, Mimosa, Two Rivers and Impala Refining Services (IRS).
During the three months to September 30, Impala, Marula and Mimosa maintained their respective platinum-in-concentrate output at 21 200 oz and 30 500oz.
IRS’s refined platinum production during the period increased by 18.7 percent to 214 500 oz, mostly as a result of higher deliveries from third party customers during the quarter under review. — Miningweekly