Aquarius Platinum: Quarterly production increases by 7%

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Aquarius Platinum delivered a 7 percent rise in second-quarter output attributable to the company, despite higher cash costs at its key Kroondal mine in South Africa and a continued dip in platinum prices, the fourth-largest platinum producer said yesterday. Aquarius said attributable output rose to 84 528 ounces in the three months to December last year, from 78 987 ounces a year earlier. Production attributable to Aquarius from its main Kroondal operation, a venture with Anglo American Platinum in North West, rose to 55 152 ounces from 51 262 ounces. However, cash costs at Kroondal rose 2 percent while prices of platinum group metals fell 9 percent from a year earlier. Aquarius said proposed tax changes and regulatory uncertainty in Zimbabwe had affected its ability to plan future output levels and capital allocation for its Mimosa mine there. Mining houses in Zimbabwe have felt the heat from President Robert Mugabe’s indigenisation policy. Shares in Aquarius fell 0.7 percent to R7.10, while the JSE platinum mining index gained 1.15 percent. – Reuters

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