RBPlat posts higher first-quarter output
Platinum group metals miner Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) has posted a 7.7% improvement in platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and gold metals-in-concentrate production to 124 000 oz for the quarter ended March 31.
Total tonnes milled for the quarter increased by 8.7% year-on-year, or by 90 000 t, to 1.1-million tonnes, with the upper group two reef contribution having increased by 33.1% year-on-year to 346 000 t.
Output of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (4E) metals-in-concentrate amounted to 110 600 oz, marking a 7.5% year-on-year improvement.
Overall concentrator recovery reduced by 0.2% to 80.93%, in line with the reduction in built-up head grade and variations in ore mix. The built-up head grade decreased by 1% year-on-year to 3.79 g/t gold, owing to increased dilution currently being experienced, mostly in the Merensky reef mining sections of the Styldrift mine.
The lower built-up head grade from Styldrift was offset by a higher built-up head grade from the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (RBPM) operation, which was 3.85 g/t gold in the quarter under review, compared with 3.77 g/t gold in the first quarter of 2021.
RBPlat advises that its total cash operating costs increased by 21.7% to R2-billion for the reporting quarter, compared with the quarter ended March 31, 2021.
The increase in expenditure is attributable to increased production and industry-related inflation.
Overall unit cash cost per tonne milled and 4E ounce increased by 12% and 13.2% to R1 807/oz and R18 282/oz, respectively.
As at March 31, RBPlat has been at a net cash position of R6.5-billion.