AIM-quoted Jubilee said the project – which produced its first platinum concentrate in March – is on track to reach full design capacity of 45,000 tonnes of material feed a month during June.
That will happen once the hydraulic-mining process to reclaim feed material from the surface platinum stocks is completed, which should be by the end of next week.
The metals explorer said it is targeting a steady state production of 1,100 tonnes of platinum concentrate a month containing 100 grams per tonne (g/t) of platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold).
That last figure is already being achieved and is 20% ahead of the contracted grade.
CEO Coetzer “pleased” with progress at Hernic
“I am particularly gratified with the way our team tackled the Hernic project, which was delivered on time and budget,” said chief executive Leon Coetzer.
“The commissioning and ramp-up of the Hernic chromite and platinum recovery plant has shown great progress reaching 74% of designed throughput.
“We look forward to ramping up production to full capacity over the coming weeks as we bring on-line the final processing unit which is the hydraulic mining of the feed material.
“Already the platinum and chrome processing plants have met the commercial specifications for both the platinum and chrome concentrates produced.”
Dilokong earnings rise in first quarter
Elsewhere, production rates have returned to normal at the Dilokong chrome mine following the commissioning of the expanded tailings storage facility for the enriched platinum material.
Chromite concentrate production revved up again towards the end of the first quarter, coming in at 14,973 tonnes.
Earnings attributable to Jubilee for the three months ended March 2017 from Dilokong jumped more than 10% quarter-on-quarter to just shy of £0.41mln.
Due diligence almost finished in Australia
Back in March, Jubilee revealed it was planning on broaden the range of metals it processes with the addition of a surface copper tailings project in Australia.
The proposed deal is subject to satisfactory due diligence, which the company said has now almost finished.
It has asked for an extension until the end of this month to complete its homework.
Assuming everything goes smoothly as expected, Jubilee expects a bulk sample trial to get underway at some point in July.
Shares dipped 1% to trade at 4.44p shortly after midday on Tuesday.
--Updates for share price--