The operating profit for Zimplats, the country’s largest miner of platinum, more than doubled to US$13.6 million in the last quarter of 2005 compared to the third quarter largely because of higher metal prices.
The new exchange rate management system introduced by the central bank in October also had a positive effect on operating costs. They rose marginally from US$24.3 million to US$24.8 million despite the high rate of inflation prevailing in the country.
Revenue increased from US$30.9 million in the third quarter to US$38.4 million resulting in operating profit shooting up from US$6.7 million to US$13.6 million.
Production was slightly lower with 22 421 ounces of platinum, 18 716 ounces of palladium, 2 394 ounces of gold and 2 003 ounces of rhodium. The company produced 22 623 ounces of platinum in the third quarter, 19 083 ounces of palladium, 2 470 ounces of gold and 2 036 ounces of rhodium.
It said it was reducing its open cast mining operations and increasing underground mining. Open cast ore mined was therefore 13 percent lower while underground ore shot up by 49 percent.
It, however, said underground production was adversely affected by power outages in December but the ore grade was better than expected.
Zimplats operates Ngezi Platinum Mine, Selous Metallurgical Complex and Hartley Platinum Mine but is listed in Australia. Its major shareholder is Implats of South Africa.
Implats is the second largest producer of platinum in the world.