JOHANNESBURG - Tharisa Minerals, the JSE-listed family-owned chrome and platinum group metals (PGM) producer, said on Friday that heavy downpours and Stage 6 load shedding had affected output in the quarter to the end of December 2019.
Tharisa chief executive Phoevos Pouroulis said load shedding had resulted in chrome concentrate production of 341900 tons in December, down from 342500 tons in September.
"Whilst Tharisa benefits from our overall low usage and stand-by capacity, the unprecedented moves to Stage 6 load shedding and consequent power reductions did provide disruption to the processing plants’ stability," said Pouroulis.
The group reported an 8.4 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in reef mining to 1.14 million tons in December, down from 1.24
million tons in September due to unprecedented inclement weather.
"Inclement weather impacted the open pit operation, resulting in a run of mine ‘opportunity loss’ of more than 230000 tons. Rainfall during December was 137 percent higher than the previously recorded highest rainfall in the five prior years,” said Pouroulis.
Despite the output disruptions, the group said it had benefited from record PGM prices, with the average PGM contained with palladium and rhodium continuing to be the main driver of the increased basket price.