PRECIOUS metals output by Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Ltd (Zimplats) will decrease a little short of its previous forecast of 168 000 ounces for the fiscal year ending June 30 2003, says Roy Pitchfo
rd, the company’s chief executive officer.
Pitchford said reduced production during the last calendar quarter ended March 31 due to mill relining, abnormal rainfall and mechanical breakdowns would not be able to be made up during this quarter.
He said output of contained platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold from Zimplats’ 70% owned Makwiro operation totaled 35 534 ounces last quarter.
To achieve the 168 000 ounces for the mineral target would require production this quarter at levels that could not be achieved.
Pitchford said: “So production this year is likely to be between 162 000 and 165 000 ounces for platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold. Several major production constraints have been addressed during the past financial year and barring any unforeseen interruptions, production volumes for the financial year to June 2004 should be higher.”
Zimplats plans to boost platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold output to about 400 000 ounces by the end of December, with a bankable feasibility study for this to be completed by the end of 2003.
Further major expansions are planned over the ensuring 10 years, according to Pitchford.
Zimplats has vast resources of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold ore resources in Zimbabwe’s Hartley Geological Complex.
Attributable reserves at the end of 2002 totaled 313,2 million metric tonnes of ore containing 33,97 million ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, with resources estimated at 2,42billion tonnes of ore for 321 million ounces of the minerals.