Zimplats’ production in terms of ore milled in the quarter to March 31, 2015 increased 9 percent to 1,263 tonnes from 1,163 tonnes recorded in the comparative period due to improved ore production. The increase in ore milled resulted in an 8 percent increase in 4E metal in concentrate produced during the period. Metal recovery rate remained largely unchanged from the previous quarter. Metal sales increased 4 percent from 100,443 ounces to 104,608 ounces
Tonnes mined increased 8 percent from the previous quarter due to the 43 000 tonnes of ore from the Bimha Mine redevelopment and a 14 percent production increase at Mupfuti Mine.
“The stripping of bulk waste at the open pit mine progressed well with the first ore expected early in the fourth quarter,” said the company in its quarterly update.
During the period under review, head grade decreased 1 percent to 3,23 grammes per tonne from 3,25 grammes per tonne due to dilution from mining access drives at Bimha Mine and two major faults with reef displacement which were intersected at Mupfuti Mine.
Revenue for the period increased 10 percent from the previous quarter due to a 4 percent increase in 4E sales volume and a 5 percent improvement in the gross revenue per 4E ounce sold.
Direct operating costs increased 11 percent in line with the higher production while cash cost per 4E ounce increased 8 percent from the previous quarter largely due to increased support costs at Mupfuti Mine as a result of mining across a major fault, as well as higher cost of production for ore mined during reef development at Bimha Mine.
“The previous quarter’s cash cost was also low due to the release of metal locked up in the system which resulted in “metal in converter matte produced” being higher than the metal in concentrate produced,” said Zimplats.
The company’s total payments to Government in direct and indirect taxes for the period decreased 31 percent to $9 million compared to the previous quarter due to a reduction in royalties.