Zimplats, the country’s largest platinum miner, is to go into full production this month following the commissioning of its fourth mining fleet, according to its quarterly report for the period ending March released this week.
The company, which is gradually phasing out opencast mining to concentrate on underground mining, saw its underground production increase from 177 000 tonnes in the quarter ending December to 196 000 tonnes.
Improved mineral prices also saw its revenue increase by 7 percent to US$41 million with operating profit up from US$13.6 million in the last quarter of 2005 to US$17.2 million.
The company, which is likely to be affected by the new government policy under which the government should have a 51 percent stake in platinum mining companies, says it has held positive discussions with the government and management is confident that a mutually acceptable framework for empowerment or government participation in the company can be agreed upon.
Currently Implats, a South African company which is the world’s second largest platinum producer, owns 87 percent of Zimplats. Other major shareholders are Corporate Holdings Limited with 3.2 percent and Adrian Vanderspuy with 2.6 percent.
Zimplats is registered in Guernsey, Channel Islands, but is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
It paid US$1.1 million to the government in royalties in the last quarter, an increase of 7 percent over the previous quarter.