Lonmin, the third-largest platinum producer in the world, recorded a 13.6% drop in platinum sales to 109,044oz for the quarter ending 31 December 2009 compared with 126,202oz in Q1 2009.

Lonmin said the decline could be attributed to a 16.7% fall in refined platinum output to 110,786oz in Q1 2010 compared with 132,935oz in Q1 2009, a result of metal-in-process inventory timing differences.

The total tons of platinum mined for Q1 2010 was 2.6 million, representing a 15.3% drop compared with 3.08 million in Q1 2009.

The drop in mined tons was due to a shutdown of non-value adding output at Limpopo operations, the Marikana opencast operations and the Pandora joint venture.

Total tons of platinum milled in Q1 2010 declined by 15.6% to 2.6 million compared with 3.07 million in Q1 2009.

The company said the production performance in Q1 2010 supports its 2010 sales guidance of 700,000oz of platinum.