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Lonmin's fiscal Q1'17 output down YOY; full-year sales target maintained

Lonmin Plc produced 148,588 ounces of platinum in the three months to the end of December 2016, compared to 157,579 ounces in the year-earlier period, while platinum group metal production was down to 284,705 ounces from 303,303 ounces.

Lonmin's refined metal production also dropped to 261,751 PGM ounces, from 330,261 PGM ounces in the year-ago period.

The London-listed company on Jan. 26 said it was disappointed with the first-quarter production at its Generation 2 shafts at the Marikana project and that the company is deploying additional stoping and vamping crews.

The expected platinum ounces from the smelter cleanup project will also contribute to achieving the company's output guidance, which is being maintained at between 650,000 platinum ounces and 680,000 platinum ounces in fiscal 2017, with unit costs ranging from 10,800 South African rand to 11,300 rand per PGM ounce.

Platinum sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 dropped 10.3% year over year to 134,954 ounces driven by lower mined tonnes, while PGM sales slipped just 0.2% to 289,962 ounces in the three months.

Unit costs per PGM ounce were 12.3% higher year over year at 12,296 rand, in part reflecting the increase in labor costs under a wage deal signed in October 2016, but also reflecting the weak mining performance.

Net cash at the end of 2016 stood at US$49 million, after US$106 million of working capital and CapEx in the first quarter. Total liquidity at December-2016 end was US$414 million.