Heaps of platinum ore ahead of the concentration process. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Heaps of platinum ore ahead of the concentration process. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Jubilee Metals Group, previously known as Jubilee Platinum, said on Tuesday that improving performance at its Hernic operation had resulted in record production numbers in March.

Processing at the company’s chrome-producing operation Dilokong, however, had been temporarily suspended due to continued variation of the quality of tailings being delivered to the site.

In an operational update for the first quarter for its metals recovery division, Jubilee said platinum group metals (PGMs) production at Hernic rose 30% to 4,897 ounces, even as production continued to ramp up.

The SA-based Hernic is Jubilee’s most advanced plant, coming into operation in March 2017. Operational earnings at Hernic rose 18% to R64.64m in the first quarter.

"I am very pleased with the continued operational improvements at our Hernic operations," said Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer. "I expect the second quarter of 2018 to deliver even better operational numbers as the Hernic operation continues to improve."

March 2018 had set a new operational high for Hernic, which produced 1,858 ounces while Jubilee’s unit cost to produce a PGM ounce was at a low $434.

The company’s Dilokong project will see it extracting chrome from a PGM waste stream, even as it stockpiles the PGM-bearing material pending the construction of recovery plant.

The plant’s design target is 25,000 tonnes of feed material per month.

At 11am, Jubilee’s share price had fallen 3.85% to 50c, having lost 19.35% so far this year.