Tharisa, the mining and metals company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), disclosed significant achievements in its fourth-quarter operations, ending on December 31, in its recent announcement.

The company reported an impressive 8.7% increase in mill throughput, reaching 1,424.4 thousand metric tons (kt). Notably, improvements were observed in both grade and recovery for platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome concentrate during this period.

PGM output witnessed a substantial boost, rising to 35.7 thousand ounces (koz) from the previous quarter’s 30.7 koz in the 2023 financial year. Concurrently, quarterly chrome output achieved a record high at 462.8 kt, surpassing the previous quarter’s 413.4 kt.

Tharisa attributed these positive results to the ongoing development of the Karo Platinum Project, a low-cost, open-pit PGM asset situated on the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. The company’s commitment to operational excellence is evident in the improved mining and plant performance, leading to the record quarterly chrome production.

Despite a slight increase of 1% in the PGM basket price to $1,344 per ounce (oz), compared to $1,331/oz in the previous quarter, Tharisa emphasized the resilience of its co-product business model. The company remains operationally cash-generative, buoyed by strong demand in the chrome market.

Tharisa’s financial snapshot revealed a group cash on hand of $221.5 million, a decrease from $268.8 million in the fourth quarter. However, the company’s debt also decreased to $126.6 million from $142.2 million, resulting in a net cash position of $94.9 million.

Looking ahead, Tharisa provided production guidance for the 2024 financial year, projecting PGM output between 145 koz and 155 koz and chrome concentrates in the range of 1.7 million to 1.8 million metric tons.

Despite the traditionally challenging first quarter, Tharisa’s directors expressed satisfaction with the positive start to the new financial year. They highlighted the success of waste mining advancements contributing to better mining and plant performance, crucial for the ongoing development of the Karo Platinum Project.

Tharisa plans to expand and roll out research and development (R&D) projects in distinct stages of development and commercialization throughout the year. The directors acknowledged the subdued PGM prices but emphasized the company’s optimism, especially as they anticipate increased demand and supply cuts.

The commissioning timeline for the Karo Platinum Project remains on track, with the first ore in the mill (FOIM) expected by June 2025. Tharisa is actively pursuing funding solutions specifically earmarked for the Karo Platinum Project, reinforcing its commitment to the project’s successful execution.