Zimplats fourth quarter revenue up 57%

Platinum miner Zimplats Holdings said on Thursday its revenue jumped 57% in the last quarter of 2007 on the back of higher production, but concerns remain over power supply problems.

Revenue for the three months to December was $60,67-million, up from $38,57 million in the previous quarter, due to improved production and deliveries of matte from the processing of concentrates that had been stockpiled during a furnace re-line.

Platinum group metal and gold sales rose to 47 516 ounces from 34 049 ounces over the period.

Zimplats—87% controlled by South African world number two producer Impala Platinum Holdings—said operating costs were also 54% higher than the previous quarter, mainly due to inflation.

“Costs for the period were negatively affected by high fuel prices, an exchange rate that did not adequately reflect the prevailing rate of inflation as well as an increase in the electricity tariff,” the company said.

Operating profit was, however, 62% higher due to the rise in platinum, rhodium and gold prices.

Zimplats said its operations had also been hit by power failures that have intensified since the beginning of the year and have seen two nationwide blackouts this month.

“Since the end of the quarter, operations have been adversely affected by power outages which resulted from problems within the power supply network in the sub-region,” Zimplats said.

“Although these problems have been resolved for now, management remains concerned about the ongoing power generation and transmission difficulties and the possible impact on operations.” - Reuters

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