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Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing

Platinum group metals producer Impala Platinum reported increased output and CEO Nico Muller said PGM pricing remained robust, as the miner gained momentum despite COVID-19 challenges.
Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing Implats reports strong quarter, robust pricing

Implats’ Marula operations in South Africa

Staff reporter

The company reported a 58% improvement in gross 6E refined and saleable production volumes to 870,000 ounces for the September quarter, due to improved availability at group processing assets and the inclusion of Impala Canada, which it acquired late last year.

The results also showed improvements on the previous quarter despite ongoing COVID-19 challenges, with total 6E concentrate volumes up 11%.

Marula in South Africa was a standout, "benefitting from a quick ramp up following COVID-related interruptions, a step change in safety performance, the notable absence of community disruptions and improved mining performance".

Charges against Implats were dropped in August over the company allegedly contravening South Africa's lockdown rules by recalling workers in April, with the company saying at the time it had received permission to ramp up. 

"Production losses attributable to the pandemic in the [September] quarter were minimal and our health, safety and operating protocols have proved effective in mitigating the impact of the virus on our operations, employees, host communities and customers," Muller said last week.

Implats reported zero fatalities for the quarter and a 7% and 26% improvement in the reported lost-time injury and all injury frequency rates, respectively.

"PGM pricing remains robust and we continue to experience strong demand for our primary products," Muller said.

The World Platinum Investment Council recently tipped the market to swing to a deficit this year, due to stronger than expected investment demand and weak supply.

Implats shares (JSE: IMP) closed at R14,277c on Friday, towards the top end of a one-year range, capitalising it at R111 billion (US$6.8 billion).