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Tharisa expects production to improve further after pit redesign

Platinum group metal output rose a touch to 34,100 oz, while chrome concentrate production improved 8.2% to 334,000 tonnes.

miners
Phoevos Pouroulis, chief executive, said the Tharisa mine was set for a good end to the year and had momentum heading into 2020

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) expects a strong end to the year after tonnages of ore mined and milled increased in its third quarter.

The output of platinum group metals– platinum, palladium, rhodium – rose a touch to 34,100 oz, while chrome concentrate production improved 8.2% to 334,000 tonnes.

Prices for both chrome and PGMs also rose over the three months to June, though the chrome spot has since dropped sharply.

Phoevos Pouroulis, chief executive, said the Tharisa mine was set for a good end to the year and had momentum heading into 2020.

“The pit redesign, which has been largely completed, and our ability to move tonnage ensures that we develop a sustainable and viable large-scale open pit operation, capable of producing volume output for the years ahead.“

In a note to clients, broker Peel Hunt pointed out that Tharisa’s management has nearly completed the mine reset it started early this year.

It's analysts said that now the fourth stage crushing section has completed, throughput rates should improve with better throughput rates in the current quarter.

That should enable Tharisa to get close to its (unchanged) annual forecast of 1.4Mt chrome concentrate and 150koz PGMs guidance for the year to September.

Next year’s forecasts are for 2Mtpa of chrome and 200,000oz of PGMs, but the eventual outcome will depend on when the new Vulcan plant is commissioned.

Plans are being submitted to the board this quarter with a 15-month build time.

In early trading, Tharsa shares were unchanged at 109.5p.

Quick facts: Tharisa PLC

Price: 109.75 GBX

LSE:THS
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £292.6 m
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