Zimplats results

Impala Platinum's Zimbabwe unit Zimplats reported a 170% jump in third-quarter profit on Monday, buoyed by higher platinum prices.

Zimplats yesterday said January to March operating profit rose to $52 million from $19 million the previous quarter. Revenue, at $128 million, was 32% higher than the last quarter.

Zimplats' output for the quarter was adversely affected by an illegal industrial action by a section of the workforce, which resulted in two and half shifts of production being lost.

As a result, tonnes mined were 1% below the previous quarter. Metal production was 2% below previous quarter reflecting the net effect of 4% lower milled tonnage and 1% better head grade.

The company's cost performance was good with operating costs 2 percent lower than the previous quarter.

Royalties continue to be accounted for at the higher rates set in terms of the Finance Act while the company awaits resolution of the dispute which is currently before the courts.

Zimplats reported that it received a total of US$151,6 million in the quarter from metal sales and loan draw-downs of which 36% was spent on operations, 37% on on-going capital expenditure projects, 20% was paid to Government and 7% was utilised to service debts.

Implats, which owns 87% of Zimplats, said in March it had agreed to a deal that would see it comply with Zimbabwe's requirement that 51% of shares in Zimplats be held by locals.

The company said production dropped by two percent to 90,557 ounces after an illegal strike by some workers and electricity cuts, which affected operations at the mine's platinum matte furnace.

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