Harare - Zimbabwe's largest platinum producer Zimplats recorded a 45 percent decline in profit in the quarter to March compared to the previous year due to lower metal prices, the company reported on Wednesday.

Zimplats, which is 87 percent owned by the world's second largest platinum producer Impala Platinum Holdings, said profit was $36 million, down from $65.4 million in the three months to March last year.

Zimbabwe's economy is totally dollarised so there are no exchange rate implications in earnings for mining firms unlike in South Africa, where commodity producers are heavily exposed not only to global price fluctuations but also swings in the rand.

Platinum prices averaged $1,428 an ounce compared to $1,634 during the same period in 2013.

Zimplats is a key source of revenue for Implats, which has been battered by a 14-week strike at its Rustenburg operations in South Africa.

That strike is costing Implats 2,800 ounces a day in lost output.

When compared to the December quarter, Zimplats profit surged 76 percent as metal prices started to improve. - Reuters