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Impala Platinum reports production decline in March quarter, says operating landscape remains challenging

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(Kitco News) - Impala Platinum (JSE: IMP, Implats), a leading producer of platinum group metals (PGM), announced Friday that its concentrate production declined by 2% to 768,000 ounces of PGM.

The company said that tonnes milled at managed operations decreased by 4% to 5.36 million tonnes during the quarter, with higher volumes at Marula and stable production at Zimplats offset by lower production at Impala Rustenburg and Impala Canada.

A 2% decrease in milled grade to 3.57g/t 6E was offset by improved recoveries, resulting in 6E concentrate production at managed operations declining by 5% to 543,000 ounces.

6E concentrate production from the joint ventures at Mimosa and Two Rivers increased by 1% to 136,000 ounces. At Impala Refining Services, 6E in concentrate receipts from third-party customers increased by 13% to 89,000 ounces.

Refined 6E production, which includes saleable ounces from Impala Canada, declined by 8% to 735,000 ounces, the company added.

According to a press-release, production in the quarter was impacted by lower concentrate volumes, while the prior comparable period benefitted from a reduction in excess stock levels.

Implats also pointed out that in 2022, it remains on track to meet the parameters provided for production, unit costs and capital expenditure metrics.

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CEO Nico Muller said that the operating landscape continues to be challenging.

"Escalating geopolitical conflict, rampant inflation, constrained supply chains and a tight labor market have compounded the production impact of extended safety stoppages and the operating protocols required to manage Covid-19. Improved organizational flexibility enabled Implats to withstand considerable headwinds and is a credit to our people, who continue to demonstrate remarkable adaptability, resilience and innovation," he added.

Implats is a leading producer of platinum group metals. The group is structured around six mining operations and Impala Refining Services, a toll refining business. The company's operations are located on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe – the two most significant PGM-bearing ore bodies in the world – and the Canadian Shield, a prominent layered igneous domain.

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