Aquarius Platinum’s
Kroondal mine “’ the
switch to owner-mining
is almost complete
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — 05 December 2012 – Aquarius Platinum Limited “’ a company with interests in seven properties in Southern Africa, two of which are in production “’ has announced that it expects its improving production trend to continue.

In a statement released here, Aquarius “’ which has put its Everest and Marikana mines into care and maintenance “’ said production would increase again in the December quarter after rising in the three months to September.

Miningmx reports that Aquarius is moving to mine the Kroondal mine it shares with Anglo American Platinum itself, abandoning the contractor mining model it had used at the operation. The switch to owner-mining is about 95% complete and the cost is about 7% below budget. There is a one-off cost of R190 million for mining equipment for the switch, which is expected to reduce operating costs.

The suspension of the mine operations and an unprofitable tailings treatment project in August have resulted in Aquarius focusing on Kroondal and the Mimosa mine it shares with Impala Platinum in Zimbabwe.

The September quarter’s production of 77,799oz of platinum group metals was well below the 109,828oz of attributable production in the same period a year earlier. However, it was an improvement on the June quarter’s 72,097oz from the same operating mines.

“The operational improvements at Kroondal are expected to provide increased production, relative to the last quarter, which in itself was a 12% improvement on the previous quarter,” said acting CEO Jean Nel.

Aquarius incurred one-off costs mothballing the Everest and Marikana mines of up to US$9 million, of which US$4 million remains outstanding.

The company will also record a US$25 million cash foreign exchange loss stemming from the closure of the foreign currency contract it had put in place to fix the exchange rate in its potential R1.2 billion purchase of the Booysendal South mining rights from Northam Platinum.

Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.