Zimplats quarterly profit surges 69 percent on higher sales

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimplats on Thursday reported a 69 percent rise in profit to $41 million for the quarter ended December, helped by the sale of platinum group metal stockpiles from the previous quarter and higher prices.

Zimbabwe’s largest platinum miner, which is 87 percent owned by Impala Platinum Holdings, sells platinum metal group concentrates to neighbouring South Africa because it does not have a refinery of its own in the country.

Zimplats said revenue rose to $184 million from $102 million previously.

“Revenue increased by 80 percent from the previous quarter mainly due to the sale of concentrates accumulated from the previous quarter and a 4 percent increase in the basket price of the metals sold,” the company said in a statement.

Platinum group metal sales rose 73 percent to 170,724 ounces.

The company said it was still in talks with the government, which last year filed a court application to enforce a previous notice to seize more than half of Zimplats’ mining land.

Zimplats said it was also negotiating with the Harare authorities over the implementation of its plans to comply with the black economic empowerment plan known locally as indigenisation.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he has relaxed the indigenisation drive but the law will still be enforced in the platinum and diamond sectors, where the government would own at least 51 percent of the mining operations.

The government has not clarified whether this would apply to both new and existing mines.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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