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Lonmin refined platinum production increases


Platinum miner Lonmin (LSE: LMI) has released production report for Q3 financial year 2009 and interim management statement for the 3 and 9 months ending June 30 2009.

Despite an extensive restructuring campaign aimed at reducing costs and ridding of non-contributing ounces, Lonmin has been able to produce an improvement in gross operating costs and increase underground production in the first 9 months of financial year 2009 compared to the equivalent period of 2008.

The refined production increased to 490,794 ounces of Platinum, a 4% improvement over the same period in 2008 and 927,194 of total PGMs, 2% more than in 2008. Sales were also up amounting to 490,347 ounces of Platinum and 910,112 ounces of total PGMs. The company maintained its 680,000 to 700,000 ounces of Platinum in sales forecast for the 2009 financial year.

The total amount of tonnes mined over the first 9 months of the financial year was 8.2 million, a 0.8 million decline from the equivalent period of 2008.

Q3 results also marked a decline from the same period in 2008.

Lonmin mined a total of 2.4 million tonnes in the third quarter, almost all of it coming from its underground Marikana mine, which produced 2.3 million tonnes. The company said apart from the restructuring programme, the closure of an uneconomic decline shaft and five uneconomic half levels at the mine also had an impact on the production, causing the slip.

Safety related shutdowns were at blame for the loss of 160,000 tonnes mined, a substantial year on year increase from Q3 2008, when Lonmin lost 107,000 tonnes mined.
Lonmin’s stock climbed 3% following the release of the reports.

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