Unki Mine

(managed – 100% owned)

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Walter Nemasasi

(2011: 51.6 koz)

(2011: R287 m)



   2012  2011 
Fatalities  0 
LTIFR  0.09  0.18 
Refined platinum production (000 oz)  64.6  50.8 
Operating contribution (Rm)  176  287 
Gross profit margin (%)  5  23 
Operating free cash flow (Rm)  54  135 
Net cash flow (Rm)  (245) (195)
Cash on-mine costs/tonne milled  R622  R509 
Mineral Resources inclusive of Ore Reserves       
MSZ  246.1 Mt  34.0 4E Moz 


The operations of Unki Mines (Pvt) Limited are situated on the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, approximately 60 kilometres south-east of Gweru. The mine is a mechanised, trackless board-and-pillar underground operation. A twin decline shaft system provides access to the underground workings for personnel and material, and also serves to convey ore. Both decline shafts are now 1,620 metres from portal on surface. Ten mining sections have been established, with strike belts transferring ore directly onto the main decline shaft conveyor. Run-of-mine ore is processed at the 120,000 tonne-per-month concentrator plant on site. The life-of-mine (LoM) of the current operations at Unki East extends to 2041, although projects in study could extend LoM to beyond 2055. Unki Mine’s Mineral Resource (exclusive of Ore Reserves) stands at 26.0 4E million ounces, while its Ore Reserve stands at 6.5 4E million ounces.


  • Improved safety performance with zero fatalities for 2012 and 634 days fatality free.
  • Increase in equivalent refined platinum ounces production.
  • The mine achieved a first place in the Association of Mine Managers of Zimbabwe (AMMZ) National SHE Audit Award for 2012 and retained the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification.


There were no fatalities at Unki during 2012. The lost-time injury-frequency-rate improved significantly from 2011 recording a 50% improvement to 0.09. The mine had only two lost-time injuries for the entire year. Equivalent refined platinum production increased by 20% year-on-year to 62,100 ounces in 2012. Tonnes milled increased to 1.5 million, up 20% year-on-year, while the 4E built-up head grade declined by 6% to 3.43 g/t as a result of establishing mining infrastructure requiring an increase in mining width. Productivity was 12.6 m2 per operating employee for the year, up 17% from 10.8 m2 per operating employee reported in 2011. Cash on-mine costs were R955 million for the year, up 46% on 2011 owing to mining inflation, increase in volumes mined and R94 million more pre-production non-recurring ore stockpile costs expensed, resulting in cash on-mine cost of R622 per tonne milled. The cash operating expenses (the costs after allowing for off-mine smelting and refining activities) per equivalent refined ounce for the year was R18,819 per ounce. The gross profit margin declined to 5% from 23% reported in 2011.


Total capital expenditure increased by 31% from R345 to R453 million in 2012. Stay-in-business capital expenditure amounted to R183 million (R45 million in 2011), while project capital expenditure ended the year at R270 million (R301 million in 2011). Remaining project work currently in progress includes primarily the construction of the mine-employee housing complex in Shurugwi. Construction work for the current phase is scheduled for completion in 2015. With the current operations now properly established, studies are in progress to determine the optimal expansion of the mine, to a level that would significantly contribute to the Company’s strategy to lower its operating cost base while at the same time exploiting the opportunity to expand its production from the world’s second-largest known economic platinum resource. Operating free cash flow (cash available after allowing for all direct and allocated indirect operating costs and stay-in-business capital) declined to R54 million from R135 million in 2011.


Unki Mine will not be impacted by the Platinum Review. The operation is expected to maintain its current production level for the immediate future.