April 16, 2010 / 2:18 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Eastern Platinum says South African mine output falls

* Cites slower mine start up after Dec break

* Q1 production 30,531 ounces vs 34,000 ounces last year

* Says on track for more productive Q2

April 16 (Reuters) - Eastern Platinum Ltd (ELR.TO) posted a 10 percent decline in quarterly production at its Crocodile River mine in South Africa, hurt by a slower-than-expected start up after its December break, but sees a recovery in the second quarter.

The mining company said its underground development was also hurt by the slow start in January, with total development meters down 14 percent sequentially, but said mining rates have improved to normal levels since January.

“The head grade and PGM (platinum group metal) recoveries have remained consistent, putting us on track for a much more productive second quarter,” said Chief Executive Ian Rozier.

For the first quarter, the company produced 30,531 ounces, compared with 34,000 ounces last year.

Chrome production fell 5 percent to 103,852 tonnes.

Shares of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company were down about 5 percent at C$1.48 in early trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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