Lonmin, South Africa's platinum producer, saw a 44.9% increase in its Q2, 2016 platinum production compared to Q2, 2015 for the three months results to 31 March 2016.

Lonmin’s unaudited results specifically saw refined platinum production of 177 444 oz and 54 964 oz more than the corresponding period in 2015. This was because “the smelter complex operated well, unlike Q2, 2015 which had smelter shutdowns.”

Safety

The 12 month rolling LTIFR to 31 March improved by 5.2% to 5.10 incidents per million man hours from 5.38 at 31 December.

Lonmin was fatality-free in the quarter but regrettably, post the period end saw two fatalities, one at Pandora in April and one at Rowland shaft in May. Focus on safety improvements remains a priority.

Business plan

Lonmin is continuing to deliver on its Business Plan with the unit cost of production at R10,390 per PGM ounce. This was 2.6% lower than Q2, 2015 and 5.1% lower than R10,949 at Q1, 2016 which was impacted by the December holidays.

The company’s aim is to achieve unit costs in FY16 which are flat on FY15 and it is pleased to be delivering on this objective.

Production and sales

A total of 2.5 Mt were mined in the quarter. Lonmin’s core, large, long life Generation 2 shafts (K3, Rowland, Saffy and 4B/1B) produced 1.9 Mt, an increase of 1.1% on Q2, 2015.

Its Generation 1 (Hossy, Newman, W1, E1, E2, E3 and Pandora (100%)) shafts produced 0.6 Mt, a decrease of 22.1% on Q2, 2015 in line with the plan to close areas of high cost production.

Sales of 211 462 platinum ounces were 92 411 ounces or 77.6% higher than in Q2, 2015.

Production losses

There has been a significant reduction in Section 54 safety stoppages. Production lost due to Section 54 safety stoppages in the quarter totalled 37 000 t. This was 185 000 t better than the prior year period and 160 000 t less than Q1, 2016.