Padenga Holdings Limited, a crocodile rearing business cum gold miner’s operation at Dallaglio, recorded a 195 percent surge in volumes to 1 480 kg for the nine months to September 30, 2022 compared to 501 kg during the same period prior year.
Chairman, Thembinkosi Sibanda, attributed the increase to the minimal contribution from Eureka Gold Mine, which only started commercial production in September last year.
Additionally, Pickstone Mine experienced flooding during the 2020/2021 rainy season which resulted in low production last year.
Despite the global price fluctuations experienced, the price of gold is forecast to remain firm and Padenga is expected to cash in on that while also leveraging on increased production volumes.
“Volumes are also expected to continue growing at a steady rate, as production is augmented by capital projects currently underway at Pickstone Mine to resuscitate underground mine operations as the open pit mine approaches its end of life.
“The project is expected to be complete at the end of the first quarter in 2023,” said Sibanda.
According to the group, the Nile crocodile operation in Zimbabwe, registered a 44 percent increase in skin sales volumes during the nine-month period compared to the same period last year.
Sibanda highlighted that 40 percent of the current year sales volumes were carry over stock skins from prior year sold to newly sourced markets.
On a year to date basis, 18 530 skins were harvested compared to 22 903 skins last year. The group is continuing with initiatives to improve skin quality in line with quality expectations by the market.
Due to stringency of European protocols for crocodile meat testing, which has significantly tightened, Padenga did not export meat to that market during the period under review although efforts are being made to resume exports.
Local meat sales decreased to 147 tonnes from 150 tonnes recorded last year.
In terms of the United States operation – Tallow Creek Ranch, the group concluded an asset purchase agreement with an offshore equity group for sale of operating assets of the alligator business.
Meanwhile, Sibanda said the group will remain focused on producing high quality skins that are consistent with premium market expectations with initiatives to ensure constant production of grade 1 blemish free skins.
Additionally, the group is also looking at alternative markets for lower grade skins.
Sibanda said: “Alternative markets have been located for the stock skins not meeting the premium market size and expectations.
“The current stock is expected to be sold and delivered by the end of 2023. The group consistently reviews and compliments strategies that achieve business continuity and growth.”