Production rates at Jubilee Platinum PLC's (LON:JLP) Dilokong chrome mine (DCM) tailings project returned to previous levels last month following a “successful” expansion of the tailings storage facility (TSF) at the property.
The TSF is being extended to maximise the amount of chrome the company can process at Dilokong.
The first phase of the construction was completed at the end of January, with Jubilee managing to continue with production throughout, albeit at a lower rate.
As a result, the firm processed 19,100 tonnes of chromite concentrate in the three months to December 2016, compared to 28,500 tonnes in the previous quarter.
Despite the lower production, a “significantly higher” chromite price helped to boost project earnings by almost 19% to £1.8mln (Q3 2016: £1,548).
However, the lower concentrate production coupled with the loss of incentives saw Jubilee’s share of the earnings fall to £465,000.
Although that’s less than the £888,000 recorded in the prior three months, it’s still more than what Jubilee earned in the second quarter of 2016 (£456,000).
“The operating results are satisfactory against the constraints of the expansion of the tailings storage facility,” said chief executive Leon Coetzer.
“The DCM project performed to maintain production output during this challenging construction period. The expansion of the tailings facility was completed on time allowing the project to restore its operational throughput.”
There are further expansion phases required at Dilokong, but Jubilee said these won’t have a direct impact on production rates.
Another boost will come in the form of third party chrome and platinum containing material which is scheduled to be delivered later this month.
At the moment, all chromite production at DCM comes from the processing of surface tailings.
Coetzer also told investors that the commissioning and ramp-up of its Hernic chromite and platinum recovery plant remains “a key focus” and the company will update investors over the coming weeks as it starts delivering product from the operation.
The boss also touched on a possible addition to the group’s portfolio, staing: “We are confident that we will shortly conclude a further acquisition with discussions progressing favourably in other areas of acquisition and joint venture.”
Jubilee added it has also raised £472,500 from a warrant exercise.
Shares were up 0.15p, or 2%, to 6.6p.