Mimosa Records 3 percent Increase in Production Despite Power Interruptions


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DT Correspondent

Zimbabwe’s second-largest platinum group metal (PGM) producer – Mimosa Mining Company, managed to achieve a 3 percent increase in tonnes milled during the quarter ending September 30, 2023, compared to the same period in 2022 despite intermittent power interruptions.

Implats, a 50 percent shareholder in Mimosa, highlighted the challenges faced by the company in its 2024 first-quarter report covering the period from July 1 to September 30, 2023.

The report acknowledged that Mimosa’s production volumes continued to be hampered by intermittent power interruptions and scheduled plant shutdowns.

“Production volumes continued to be impacted by intermittent domestic power interruptions and a scheduled plant shutdown during the period”

Despite these obstacles, the production of the six platinum-group metals, including ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum concentrate, saw a 1 percent increase.

“Tonnes milled improved by 3 percent to 702 000 tonnes, while milled grade was adversely impacted by poor geology and declined by 5% to 3.61g/t. Yield improvements from plant optimisation project resulted in a 1 percent increase in 6E concentrate production to 62000 ounces,” reads the report in part.

Sibanye Still Water, the other 50 percent owner of Mimosa, echoed similar sentiments in its operational update for the quarter ending September 30, 2023.

The report revealed that 4E PGM (Gold, Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium) production also experienced a 1 percent increase compared to the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Sibanye attributed Mimosa’s 10 percent increase in 4E all-in sustaining cost (AISC) during the quarter to inflationary pressures within the country, particularly the rise in electricity tariffs.

The group stated that the local electricity costs for exporters surged by 40 percent in October 2022, marking the first increase since 2014 and significantly impacting AISC.

Despite these challenges, Mimosa’s sustaining capital remained high at US$14 million due to the ongoing construction of a new tailings storage facility (TSF).

The TSF is scheduled to be commissioned between December 2023 and March 2024.

Mimosa’s attributable 4E PGM production for the quarter reached 29,060 4Eoz, displaying a 1 percent increase compared to Q3 2022.

However, the AISC rose by 10 percent year-on-year, reaching US$1,359/4Eoz (R25,258/4Eoz), primarily driven by inflationary pressures and the significant increase in electricity costs.

The sustained capital expenditure of US$14 million (R266 million) was mainly associated with the ongoing construction of the new TSF.

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