THARISA Minerals, a low cost platinum group metals and chrome concentrate producer rallied 7 percent on the JSE yesterday on news of a turn around as profits rose to $7.1 million in the six months to March compared to $31 million loss in the same period last year.Photo supplied
THARISA Minerals, a low cost platinum group metals and chrome concentrate producer rallied 7 percent on the JSE yesterday on news of a turn around as profits rose to $7.1 million in the six months to March compared to $31 million loss in the same period last year.Photo supplied
JOHANNESBURG - The share price of platinum group metals (PGM) and chrome producer Tharisa Minerals hit R21.25 at 9am before dropping to R19.99 a share at the close of trade yesterday after a bullish production report for the March quarter.

PGM production for the March quarter beat the market consensus at 38200 ounces, up 11.4percent from 34300 ounces in the same quarter in 2017.

It was, however, 1.5percent lower than the 38800 ounces in the December quarter.

The company produced 77000 ounces of PGM in the half-year to March 2018 and 69000 ounces in the half-year to March 2017.

Chrome production was 366700 tons in the quarter to March, compared with 314000 tons in the March 2017 quarter and 365800 tons in December.

Chrome production for the half-year to March was 732500 tons, compared with 636800 tons in the half-year to March 2017.

The average PGM basket price an ounce for the quarter to the end of March was 10.2percent higher at $953 (R11491), which was $88 an ounce higher than the $865 in the quarter to the end of December last year.

PGM basket prices reflected improvements in the prices of palladium, rhodium and ruthenium, which comprise 16.3percent, 9.2percent and 13.6percent respectively of Tharisa’s PGM basket, the company said.

“Tharisa remains firmly on track to achieve its financial year 2018 production guidance of 150000 PGM ounces and 1.4mt chrome concentrates, of which 350000 tons will be speciality-grade chrome concentrates. The near-term focus will be on advancing the Vision 2020 projects that will ensure Tharisa delivers 200000 ounces a year of PGMs and two million tons a year of chrome concentrates by 2020.”

It said the transition to owner mining had progressed well.

Tharisa’s switch to owner mining follows its purchase of MCC Contracts last September, which included the employment of 900 MCC personnel, effective from October 1.

The JSE-listed company said the fleet purchased from the mining contractor had been supplemented by drill rigs and yellow fleet to optimise the fleet, ensuring it could achieve the run rates.

“The focus during this period has been on employee training using world-class simulators to ensure competency training.”

- BUSINESS REPORT