Considering Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the second quarter of the year, JSE-listed chrome and platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Tharisa has revised downward its production guidance for the year ending September 30.
The company now expects to produce between 130 000 oz and 135 000 oz of PGMs, which was previously set at between 155 000 oz and 165 000 oz for the year, and between 1.25-million and 1.30-million tonnes of chrome concentrate, which was previously set at between 1.45-million and 1.55-million tonnes for the year.
Tharisa nonetheless had a productive May and June in the quarter ended June 30, with record run-of-mine (RoM) output levels recorded in those two months.
In the quarter under review, platinum, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, and iridium (6E) PGMs production increased 9% quarter-on-quarter to 35 000 oz, while the company’s chrome production increased by 3.6% quarter-on-quarter to 321 400 t.
The company confirms that its PGM sales and deliveries have returned to pre-Covid-19 levels.
Further, Tharisa achieved four-million fatality-free shifts on June 18, but did report its first passing of a colleague as a result of complications brought about by Covid-19.
“Operating results for the quarter have been exceptionally strong with both May and June achieving consecutive record RoM output levels at about 500 000 t, respectively.
“These efforts, together with a very credible performance from the processing team has ensured our quarter-on-quarter production levels for both PGMs and chrome concentrates have shown increases at a time when we were not operating at full capacity,” the company states.
Together with good unit cost control, favourable PGM prices – at about $1 593/oz – and higher pricing for chrome concentrate – at about $143/t, the company remains strongly cash generative and financially solid.
Tharisa remains confident of replicating this strong performance in the fourth quarter.