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Implats says Q3 platinum output up

Platinum production at Marula mine hampered by community disruptions.

South Africa’s Impala Platinum (Implats) said on Friday third-quarter platinum production rose despite Eskom power cuts and community disruptions at its Marula mine.

Platinum in concentrate production was 1% higher at 350 000 ounces in the quarter ended March 31 compared with the same period last year, the company said.

Refined platinum production during the quarter ended March 31 increased by 5% to 333 000 ounces.

The firm said a stronger mining performance at Impala Rustenburg was offset by lower tonnage at Marula and Zimplats.

Platinum production at the Marula mine, which fell by 25% from a year earlier to 15 000 ounces, was hampered by community disruptions, which resulted in a seven-day work stoppage and Eskom power interruptions

“While we could manage this at Impala Rustenburg due to the flexibility offered by our integrated mining and processing operations, our other South African operations elsewhere fared less well,” said Implats’ Chief Executive Officer, Nico Muller in a statement.

Eskom, which supplies more than 90% of electricity in Africa’s most advanced economy, cut power across the country in February and March as low coal supplies, a severe cash crunch, and multiple failures at its ageing fleet of power stations depressed supply. 

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