Zimbabwe: Repair Work Affects Platinum Production

22 November 2019

Repair work at concentrating facilities saw Zimbabwe record a 4 percent drop in third quarter platinum output to 115 000 ounces from 120 000 ounces the previous quarter, according to latest figures from the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC).

Global refined production fell by 10 percent (-165koz) year-on-year to 1 500koz in the third quarter of 2019 owing to reduced output from South Africa.

Planned maintenance at smelting operations on the Western Limb constrained processing capacity and, as a result, refined output from South Africa declined by 11 percent (-140koz) year-on-year to 1 090koz in Q3'19.

In North America, growth in production from the US was offset by a drop in production from Canada, resulting in a decline from the region of 11 percent (-10koz) year-on-year to 80koz. Output from Russia was also down by 6 percent (-10koz) year-on-year to 170koz because of the commissioning of a new precious metals concentrate production line at metallurgical facilities.

Supply was stable at 45koz in other regions in Q3'19.

Total mining supply dropped 11 percent year-on-year to 1 460koz owing to a 40koz increase in producer inventory.

Over the year, Zimbabwean output is forecast to fall marginally by 1 percent (-5koz) to 460koz owing to extended repair work at concentrating operations.

Global refined production is estimated to rise by 2 percent (+100koz) year-on-year in 2019 to 6 225koz.

South African output is predicted to increase by 1 percent (+50koz) to 4 520koz as the ramp-up of new production and the addition of work-in-progress stock offset the decline in production resulting from shaft closures and mine depletion.

Supply from Russia is expected to grow by 4 percent (+25 koz) year-on-year following the release of accumulated work-in-progress inventory in the first half of the year.

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