MINING PRODUCTION REVIEW
Strong Tharisa results put it on track to meet 2019 targets
The metals miner speaks glowingly of its prospective exploratory work in Zimbabwe
Tharisa posted a strong set of full-year operational numbers, lining itself up for 2019 production targets.
But the SA-focused chrome and platinum group metals miner, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, noted that while the sales price for the basket of six platinum group metals (PGMs) it produces had risen nearly 15% in rand terms, the prices for its chrome and specialty chrome products had softened.
Operationally, Tharisa recorded good recoveries of metals at its mine near Brits and at its chrome recovery project at Lonmin's K3 shaft, exceeding targets.
PGM production for the year to end-September increased by 6% to 152,200oz, with the price rising by 14.7% to R12,038/oz.
Chrome output increased by nearly 9% to 1.448-million tonnes, with specialty-grade chrome, which fetches a premium price, making up a quarter of that number.
The price for metallurgical chrome, which comprises the bulk of Tharisa's production, fell by 7% to $186 a tonne, while specialty grade chrome prices dropped by 9.4% to R2,415 a tonne.
At the Lonmin project, Tharisa said it topped the production target by 11%, reaching 221,800 tonnes.
The year's performance set Tharisa up to meet its 2019 targets of 160,000oz of platinum and 1.5-million tonnes of chrome.
Tharisa has been active during 2018, expanding its geographical footprint into neighbouring Zimbabwe, where it has secured stakes in undeveloped chrome and PGM deposits.
"This strong operational performance at the Tharisa mine provides a solid foundation for the development of the highly prospective exploration projects in Zimbabwe," Tharisa CEO Phoevos Pouroulis said.
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