Varvara Dmitrieva: The jewelry industry of Yakutia is distinguished by its creativity, unique cultural code and conservation of traditions

Varvara Dmitrieva, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Precious Stones and Metals Processing Technologies of the North-Eastern Federal University, told Rough&Polished about the results of the Forum of jewelry Craftsmanship and the prospects...

16 april 2024

Valery Budny: There is no strategy and legislation in Russia enabling the full cycle processing of precious raw materials within the country

Valery Budny, Head of the Jewelry Russia program and CEO of the JUNWEX media holding, told Rough&Polished about the results of the meeting and pressing issues in the precious metals and precious stones (PMPS) and the jewelry sectors.

11 april 2024

Paul Zimnisky: Natural diamonds face the risk of eroding their appeal if constantly discounted

New York-based independent diamond and jewellery analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that the industry should do away with discounts. He said the industry should treat natural diamonds...

01 april 2024

Edahn Golan: Lab-grown diamond prices to continue declining

In an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished's Mathew Nyaungwa, Edahn Golan, proprietor of the eponymous Edahn Golan Diamond Research and Data, predicted that the prices of lab-grown diamonds would continue to decline, especially at the retail and...

25 march 2024

ADPA’s Ellah Muchemwa: G7 restrictions to bring extra costs from diamond mining to retail

The African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), which has openly registered its disdain for the G7’s rough diamond trade restrictions, is of the opinion that the move will bring extra costs on all stages, from mining to retail. ADPA executive...

18 march 2024

Eastern Platinum expects PGM to account for 80% of its 2024 revenue

26 january 2024

Eastern Platinum says platinum group metals (PGM) production is expected to account for about 80% of its 2024 revenue as the soft restart of the underground mining will target high-grade PGM ounces and metallurgical-grade chrome by-products within the Zandfontein section.

Zandfontein is one of the three mines at Crocodile River Mine (CRM) in South Africa.

PGM ounces are also expected to account for 65% of Eastplats revenue from 2025 to 2026.

Company chief executive Wanjin Yang said PGM prices, on average, fell 40% year-over-year by December 2023.

He said the PGM price volatility, coupled with the reduced margins, resulted in operational restructuring, job cuts, and a widening of the global supply deficit for the basket of precious and industrial metals.

“However, despite the fall in PGM prices, it is important to remember that ‘the PGM basket price has not traded materially below the 70th percentile of the cost curve on an annual basis’,” said Yang.

“Eastplats has not been impacted [by] these larger PGM price effects in 2023 for a number of reasons. First, a large part of operational efforts has focused on the company’s retreatment project, the majority of which produces chrome concentrate. Second, Eastplats’ soft restart of the Zandfontein underground section at the CRM that focuses on PGM mining and eventually PGM production, will be executed in phases.”

He said the initial “soft restart” phase, which began in the fourth quarter of 2023, involved blasting and stockpiling of ore to begin processing in the first quarter of 2024. 

The “soft restart” phase is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes of PGM ore a month by the end of 2024. The next phase will see operations ramp up to 70,000 tonnes of PGM ore a month at the end of 2025, operating at a steady state rate of between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes monthly in 2026, said Yang.

He also said that low chrome supply at ports (in China) as well as fluctuations in Chinese yuan exchange rates against the US dollar are also believed to have supported robust chrome pricing in 2023.

Eastplats' tailings storage facility (TSF) retreatment project is expected to result in record annual revenues for 2023 of $100 million and will continue operating into late 2024.

The company continued to operate and optimise the TSF retreatment project at the CRM, producing both chrome concentrates and PGM ounces during the year. 

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished