JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Platinum mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) on Thursday reported improved gross profit of R1.6-billion but an after-tax loss on impairments.
Impairments of R13.6-billion, mainly due to the restructuring of Impala Rustenburg, resulted in an after-tax loss of R10.8-billion.
The group's funding strategy is supported by the forward sale of up to R2-billion of the pipeline stock, which provides sufficient liquidity during the two-year restructuring period, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, headed by CEO Nico Muller, reported.
Operational tonnes milled rose 5.6% and platinum in concentrate ounces were 1% higher following strong operational performances across the group.
Refined platinum ounces declined by 4% and were impacted by the 77 000 platinum ounce build-up in pipeline stocks, following the rebuild and fire at Impala Rustenburg's No. 5 furnace.
The company said that the platinum market remained over-supplied, with good demand for palladium and rhodium.
Revenue for the year declined by 3% to R35.9-billion, despite higher rand basket prices, impacted by lower sales volumes.
The lower sales volumes resulted in a negative variance of R3.4-billion as 77 000 additional platinum ounces were built up in process stock in the year.
Overall, dollar metal prices were 12% higher year-on-year resulting in a positive variance of R4.7-billion, but this was partially offset by a negative variance of R2.3-billion arising on a 6% stronger rand.
Cost of sales were well contained and reduced by 8% to R34.3-billion as costs were deferred due to the stock build-up.
“Strategically, our objective to reduce exposure to high-cost, conventional mining is moving forward,” said Muller in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
This follows changes being implemented at Impala Rustenburg, operational improvements at the Marula mine, the acquisition of the Waterberg project and new opportunities in Zimbabwe.
Implats intends cutting 13 000 jobs at Impala Rustenburg, where it is working towards reducing its number of shafts to six from eleven and cutting output by 230 000 oz.