Tharisa said it was on track to achieve its 2018 production guidance of 150 000 ounces of platinum group metals and 1.5m tons of chrome. Photo supplied
Tharisa said it was on track to achieve its 2018 production guidance of 150 000 ounces of platinum group metals and 1.5m tons of chrome. Photo supplied
JOHANNESBURG - Listed platinum and chrome miner Tharisa said yesterday it was on track to achieve its 2018 production guidance of 150000 ounces of platinum group metals (PGMs) and 1.5million tons of chrome.

In a report for the three months to the end of June, the Cyprus-based firm said the average PGM basket price for the period was $947 (R12731) an ounce, which, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, was fractionally lower in dollar terms, but 4.9percent higher in rand terms, due to a 5percent weakening of the rand against the dollar.

On the other hand, the average metallurgical grade chrome concentrate price was $193 per ton, which translated into a 6.3percent drop in dollar terms. The weaker rand, however, offset the drop in prices.

“Spot prices have since returned to above the $200-per-ton level. Strong stainless steel market fundamentals are expected to continue supporting metallurgical grade chrome concentrate demand. Specialty chrome concentrates, which comprise about 25percent of Tharisa’s total chrome concentrate production, continue to attract a significant premium to metallurgical chrome concentrate prices,” the company said.

File photo: Rick Kimpbell

Tharisa wants to increase production in terms of its Vision 2020 programme. According to the company, the Vision 2020 growth projects will ensure that Tharisa delivered 5.9million tons of run-of-mine material a year and 2million tons of chrome concentrates a year by 2020.

The company said yesterday it was making progress in obtaining regulatory approvals in Zimbabwe. These included approvals for the “national project status” applications and environmental impact assessment reports and approvals. Upon obtaining the approvals, Tharisa said it would start with exploration programmes.

Special grants

Tharisa earlier this year announced it had bought a 90percent stake in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe.

According to Tharisa, Salene has three special grants under the Zimbabwe Mines and Minerals Act covering an area of about 9500 hectares on the eastern side of the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe.

Tharisa chief executive Phoevos Pouroulis said yesterday the company’s focus was on achieving a zero-harm working environment.

“Tharisa has illustrated maturity and depth by delivering another record quarter, while embarking on its growth strategy through development and exploration programmes. We look forward to delivering on our production guidance for the full financial year and on our growth plans outlined in Vision 2020, in conjunction with the projects in Zimbabwe,” said Pouroulis.

Tharisa shares shed 2.17percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R18.

- BUSINESS REPORT