The Investing News Network looks at African platinum miner Zimplats and Australia-focused gold and base metals miner Independence Group.
For investors focused on the resource space, a good way to track companies listed in Australia is to look at the S&P/ASX 300 (INDEXASX:XKO). The index includes all S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) companies as well as about 100 smaller-cap companies, and as of April 2015 accounted for 74 percent of the Australian equities market. Specifically, the S&P/ASX 300 Metal & Mining (INDEXASX:XMM) division is a great source for companies to watch.
The Investing News Network is thus profiling companies on the S&P/ASX 300 Metal & Mining index. This week’s companies are Zimplats Holdings (ASX:ZIM) and Independence Group (ASX:IGO).
ASX-listed Zimplats is 87-percent owned by Impala Platinum Holdings (JSE:IMP,OTCMKTS:IMPUY), which is focused on platinum extraction in the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and in the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. Zimplats’ Ngezi operation is located in the Hartley geological complex — the largest of the known PGM-bearing complexes — in the Great Dyke, roughly 150 kilometers southwest of Harare.
The company holds a special mining lease that covers two areas for a total of 48,535 hectares. Zimplats started opencast mining at Ngezi in December 2001, but suspended opencast operations in 2008 and is instead mining the underground sections of the deposit. The company is currently operating four shallow, mechanized underground mines and two concentrators at Ngezi. In 2014, the company produced 239,700 ounces of platinum in matte.
Earlier this year, the company reported an underground collapse at the Bimha mine. While there were no reports of injury or damage to the equipment, the company did note in July that production from the mine was to be downscaled by 50 percent, equating to 45,000 ounces of platinum in matte production.
Independence Group is a diversified mining, development and exploration company currently developing the world-class Nova project in Western Australia. Nova is a polymetallic project with a mineral resource estimate of 14.3 million tonnes grading 2.3 percent nickel, 0.9 percent copper and 0.08 percent cobalt for a contained 325,000 tonnes of nickel, 134,000 tonnes of copper and 11,000 tonnes of cobalt.
The project is currently under construction based on a 1.5-million-tonne-per-annum underground operation with a decline access, a 1.5-million-tonne-per-annum processing plant and associated infrastructure and services. According to the company’s timeline, commissioning is slated for the latter half of 2016, with ramp up through to mid-2017.
Beyond the development of Nova, Independence Group operates three other mines, including the Tropicana gold mine joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), which farmed the project in 2002. During the 2015 fiscal year, the firm’s attributable gold production was 148,932 ounces with 150,836 ounces of gold sold for an average cost of $568 per ounce; all-sustaining costs were $795 per ounce.
Independence Group is also actively working on regional exploration at the Lake Mackay joint venture project with ABM Resources (ASX:ABU). Additionally, it is advancing the Stockman project, located outside Melbourne. Stockman is currently at the permitting stage.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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