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Zim Q2 platinum output slightly declines



PLATINUM output in Zimbabwe slightly declined by 1% to 124 000 ounces (oz) during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) has said.


Last year, in the second quarter, output stood at 125 000oz.

“Output from Zimbabwe was stable at 124 koz, benefiting from increased concentrator capacity at Unki. This offset declines at Mimosa and Zimplats, which fell due to a semi-finished inventory release last year,” the report reads in part.

The southern African country holds the world’s third largest proven platinum reserves after South Africa and Russia.

As such, output from Zimbabwe has an im[1]pact on global output and pricing trends. Platinum is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earners, with South African mining companies such as Impala Platinum (Implats) and Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats) owning the biggest platinum group metals mines in the country.

 According to the government’s vision of at[1]taining a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023, platinum is expected to contribute US$3 billion per year. Quarter-on-quarter, platinum output increased by 6%.

This year, WPIC projected Zimbabwe’s production to fall by 4% to 465 000oz compared to last year’s figures of 485 000oz.

Global refined platinum production during the second quarter declined a modest 1% year[1]on-year to 1.5 million ounces as lower output from most producing countries were largely offset by growth from Russia.

 Production in South Africa was relative[1]ly stable as well, declining 3% year-on-year. Anglo American Platinum’s output fell quarter-on-quarter due to the exceptional impact of the release of semi-finished inventory accumulated due to the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) shutdown in the same period last year, which was not repeated in the period under review.

“The company’s mined output fell as operations halted as an area of cultural significance was identified, which necessitated a reconfiguration of Mogalakwena. Elsewhere, Impala Platinum’s production declined due to a smelter rebuild,” the report reads in part.

 “While the state electricity supplier Eskom implemented a level of load shedding not experienced since 2019, the timing in late June means the impact of this will be mostly felt in the third quarter with only a modest effect on Q2.”

North American output continued its multiyear decline, with the second quarter represent[1]ing the ninth consecutive quarter of year-on-year falls.

The report notes that a flood at Sibanye-Stillwater’s US operations and processing maintenance at Vale’s Sudbury operations were responsible for this quarter’s slump of 13%.

 Russian production rose 18% for the quarter, offsetting much of the losses from other regions as Nornickel’s output recovered from the mine flooding of 2021.

“While there was a modest destocking of producer refined inventory in South Africa to support sales during a period of furnace maintenance, this was more than offset by a build of producer inventory in Russia,” it said.

 Global platinum mine supply in 2022 is forecast to decline 7% year-on-year to 5.8 million ounces, primarily due to the depletion of Anglo-American Platinum semi-finished inventory that boosted refined volumes in 2021 and constrained smelter availability due to planned rebuilds.

South Africa will account for the bulk of the fall, with a forecast decline of 10% to 4.2 million ounces, while other producing countries are expected to remain broadly in line with 2021 output.

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