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Marikana production up

Sunset at Marikana 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 January 2009 – Lonmin – the world’s third largest primary platinum producer – reports that its flagship Marikana mine produced 2.7 million tonnes during the quarter ended 31 December 2008 – an 8% increase over the same period in 2007. Marikana – on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex –currently contributes around 92% of Lonmin’s production.

Releasing its production report for the final quarter of 2008, Lonmin revealed, however, that the total tonnes mined by company had remained flat at 3.1 million. This was as a consequence of the previously announced winding down of opencast operations at Marikana, the impact of a 21-day strike at the Limpopo Baobab shaft, and by disruption caused by the ongoing consultations relating to restructuring plans for this shaft.
The company concentrators produced a total of 173 232 saleable ounces of platinum in Q4 of 2008 concentrate for the quarter – a 9% decrease from the same period in the previous year.

Refined production in Q4 of 2008 dropped to 132 935 ounces of platinum and 243 818 ounces of PGMs – which reflected decreases of 14% and 12% respectively from the previous year.

The production report went on to confirm that, with restructuring programmes instituted during the quarter at the Marikana and Limpopo operations, Lonmin remained in consultation with its representative unions. An update on these programmes would be given when the company’s interim results were announced on 11 May 2009.

The report added that the PGM pricing environment during the last quarter of 2008 had remained challenging, and the short-term outlook for PGM pricing continued to be difficult to predict.