UNKI Mine, the local unit of world number one platinum producer Anglo Platinum, says its annual revenue could fall by 20% owing to the recent slump in metal prices on the world market.
Chief finance officer Collin Chibafa said metal prices on the world market fell from $1 500 to about $1 300 per ounce this year and were unlikely to improve in the short-term.
“The drop in metal prices will affect our annual revenue which is likely to drop by about 20% if the prices do not improve. In light of fixed costs such as labour, we would need to come up with measures that cushion us against such developments,” he said.
Currently Unki produces 120 000 tonnes of ore per month, with plans to increase output to 18 000 tonnes by 2016. The mine recently shelved expansion plans citing poor metal prices.
Production at the country’s third biggest platinum mine has been on a steady rise since the mine was fully commissioned in January 2011, but it is not yet a significant contributor to Amplats’ 1,5 million ounce annual output.
The mining giant has said it is exploring ways of expanding output from Unki to a level that would significantly contribute to the company’s strategy to lower its operating cost base while at the same time exploiting the opportunity to increase production from its asset in Zimbabwe, which boasts of the world’s second-largest known economic platinum resource.
Angloplat has invested $350 million at the mine since it started operations, producing 51 000 tonnes of refined platinum, which reached 67 000 refined platinum ounces in 2013.