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VENTURES AFRICA – Johannesburg-based miner, Impala Platinum has reported a 17 percent decline in its first-quarter output after losing a major recycling client.
The undisclosed client had stopped deliveries in part because of depressed prices for the precious metal used for making emissions-capping catalytic converters in auto-mobiles.
“We had to cancel the arrangement and are currently in litigation with the former client,” Implats spokesman, Johan Theron disclosed.
Following the exit, refined platinum production fell to 376,000 ounces for the 3 months through September from 454,000 ounces last year.
Also, its palladium output declined 21 percent to 228,000 ounces and rhodium slipped 20 percent to 45,000 ounces.
“We are now looking for a new client,” Theron told Reuters.
The company however said production at its own Rustenburg mine improved 1 percent to 195,000 ounces, while production at Zimbabwean unit climbed 50 percent to 60,000 ounces.
Currently, Implats faces the prospect of a strike by the unbending Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) after wage talks proved abortive, according to a report.
However, JPMorgan Cazenove analysts Steve Shepherd and Allan Cooke said in their latest platinum sector review, that while the risk of a disruption remained, they didn’t “anticipate any lengthy strike actions.”