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Thursday, 10/31/2019 7:02:19 PM

Thursday, October 31, 2019 7:02:19 PM

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Implats maintains full-year guidance despite lower first-quarter output

31st October 2019

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

JSE-listed Impala Platinum (Implats) is confident of meeting its targets for the full 2020 financial year, despite a 4.2% year-on-year decrease in platinum-in-concentrate production and a 24% year-on-year decrease in refined platinum output in the first quarter of the financial year.

Refined platinum production decreased to 281 000 oz in the quarter ended September 30, mainly as a result of planned maintenance at Impala Rustenburg’s acid plant and at the subsidiary Zimplats' furnace.

Platinum-in-concentrate production, including managed and joint venture operations, decreased to 334 000 oz during the quarter, mainly as a result of milling constraints at the Two Rivers and Mimosa operations.

“The unforeseen challenges at Mimosa and Two Rivers were addressed by the respective management teams, with plans in place to mitigate the impact of the slow start on full-year production targets at these operations,” CEO Nico Muller said on Thursday.

Platinum-in-concentrate production at the Impala Rustenburg, Marula and Zimplats operations was, however, in line with planned output.

Plans to outsource mining operations at Impala Rustenburg’s 1 Shaft and to close 9 Shaft were also progressing.

“The markets for our primary products remain buoyant and we have taken bold steps to advance our stated strategy of repositioning the group through the induced conversion of the dollar convertible bond and, more recently, the announcement of our offer to acquire North American Palladium (NAP).

“Our leadership remains committed to securing a fair and equitable wage agreement at our South African operations and we continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe, with close interaction and communication with the Zimbabwean government to counter the challenges presented by the uncertain macroeconomic outlook,” Muller highlighted.

Implats earlier announced its intention to acquire Canadian palladium-focused miner NAP in an R11.4-billion deal