Tharisa plc (THS:LSE)
The company reported solid production results for Q1 2017, period ended 31 December 2016. Produced 34.8 koz of PGM and 322.2 kt of chrome concentrate in the quarter, compared to 24 koz of PGMS’s and 272.1 kt of chrome in the same quarter 2015. Out of the chrome production 77.1 kt was higher-value speciality grade material. PGM recoveries were above target (70%) at 80.5% and chrome recoveries achieved 64.3%, close to the target rate of 65%.
Mining was consistently above the combined plant processing capacity of 400 ktpm, to bring the total reef mined from the open pit to 1 229.9 kt for the quarter; notwithstanding planned routine maintenance, which included annual mill relining. Mining focused on grade control and optimal blend of material.
The average PGM basket price for the quarter was US$740/oz, this compares to US$804/oz received in the previous quarter ended September 2016. Metallurgical chrome prices rose almost 60% in the quarter to an average price of US$250/t; this is an improvement of US$93/t on the CIF contracted selling price in September 2016.
PGM and chrome production are on track to meet FY 2017 production guidance of 147.4 k oz PGM’s and 1.3 Mt chrome concentrates, with 300 kt being speciality grade chrome concentrates.
Tharisa CEO Phoevos Pouroulis said “We are positive about the prospects for the year ahead and believe that, with the support of buoyant chrome prices, 2017 will be a definitive year with reduced unit costs and increased operating margins.”