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Tharisa plc, a co-producer of PGM and chrome concentrates, today reported another record quarter. Records were achieved for recoveries and production for both PGMs and chrome.

“The ethos of safe production is a core value at Tharisa and we are extremely proud of our employees for embracing this value and continuing to focus on achieving a zero harm working environment,” comments CEO, Phoevos Pouroulis

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 highly prospective projects in Zimbabwe.”

Reef mined from Tharisa’s shallow open pit on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex totalled 1 244.1 kt for the quarter, a 3.2% improvement on the previous quarter.

Tharisa is encouraged by the mining team’s adoption of continuous improvement strategies and the subsequent results.

During the quarter 1 291.2 kt of ore was milled, resulting in record PGM production of 39.5 koz on a 6E basis and record total chrome concentrate production of 376.3 kt, of which 95.2 kt (25.3%) are specialty grade concentrates.

PGM and chrome concentrate production increased by 3.4% and 2.6% respectively
when compared to Q2.

Both PGM and chrome recoveries exceeded target during the quarter with PGM recoveries at 85.6%, against a target of 80%, and chrome recoveries at 67.8%, against a target of 65%.

The average PGM basket price for the three months ended June 2018 was US$947 per ounce, which is fractionally lower in US dollar terms but 4.9% higher in South African Rand terms due to a 5% weakening of the ZAR against the USD.

The average metallurgical grade chrome concentrate price was US$193/t, 6.3% lower in US$ terms however again offset by the weaker Rand.

Spot prices have since returned to above the US$200/t level.

Strong stainless steel market fundamentals are expected to continue supporting metallurgical grade chrome concentrate demand.

Outlook

Tharisa is confident that it remains on track to achieve its FY2018 production guidance of 150 koz PGMs and 1.4 Mt of chrome concentrates, of which at least 350 kt will be specialty grade chrome concentrates.

The Vision 2020 projects will ensure that Tharisa delivers 200 kozpa of PGMs and 2 Mtpa of chrome concentrates by 2020.

The near term focus in South Africa will be on advancing the Vision 2020 projects. In Zimbabwe good progress is being made on regulatory approvals including National Project Status applications and Environmental Impact Assessment reports and approvals, following which the planned exploration programmes will commence.