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Implats notches 17% increase in platinum production in fiscal Q3'16

The firethat occurred at Impala Platinum HoldingsLtd.'s Rustenburgmine in South Africa did not dampened the company's overall production for the threemonths to March 31.

The Johannesburg-based producer said April 26 that its grossrefined platinum production was up 17% year over year at 353,000 ounces during thethird quarter of the 2016 financial year.

Palladium output climbed 24% to 219,000 ounces compared to thesame three-month period of 2015, rhodium production rose 43% to 53,000 ounces andnickel production increased 5.6% to around 4.0 million tonnes.

Implats shut down shaft No. 14 of the Rustenburg mine followingthe Jan. 22 fire that resulted in four deaths, and did not resume operations untilFeb. 15.

Despite the severe impact of the fire on production volumes,grade and ore mix at the mine, refined platinum production for the quarter was maintainedat 142,000 ounces.

Implats attributed the increase in its companywide output tohigher production from the Zimplatsmine, good operational performances from the Marula, TwoRivers and Mimosamines, higher volumes from Impala Refining Services, and the release of materialstockpiled ahead of the smelter.

Production for the full year is expected to be in the vicinityof 1.4 million refined platinum ounces at a unit cost of 22,500 South African randper ounce.