Gold. Picture: REUTERS
Gold. Picture: REUTERS

Gold miner Pan African Resources has trimmed its production forecast for its year to end-June by 5%, saying it has been able to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 by continuing surface activities.

The group now expects gold production for its 2020 year of 176,000oz from 185,000 previously, saying it had increased output from its surface toll treatment and low-grade surface stockpile processing initiative. That substituted production was at a lower margin than underground production’, the group said.

Pan African had begun recalling employees in line with relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, with the surface operations at the Elikhulu Tailings Retreatment Plant and the Barberton Tailings Retreatment Plant producing at close to full capacity from early May, the group said.

“We expect that we still have a long battle ahead against Covid-19; however, I wish to commend all of our employees for the manner in which they have worked together during this period,”  CEO Kobus Loots said.

Pan African said that if the rand gold price of about R1m/kg could be sustained for the financial year, it expected to reduce its senior interest-bearing debt to about R1.3bn, a reduction of 23% when compared to the end of December.

In morning trade on Monday, Pan African’s share price was down 2.71% to R3.23, having risen 49.54% so far in the year to date.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za