Both Zondereinde and Booysendal recorded healthy cash margins for Northam despite difficult market conditions and higher operating costs.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is expected to increase to approximately R1.1 billion (F2017: R967.2 million) for the year ended 30 June 2018.

The group produced 571 843 oz of equivalent refined 6E (F2017: 546 984 oz), an increase of 4.5% from the comparative prior period.

This follows a strong operational performance from the Zondereinde mine which increased production by 7.0% year-on-year to 348 888 oz 6E of equivalent refined metal (F2017: 325 981 oz 6E).

Booysendal mine’s output was adversely affected by a work stoppage in May 2018 when it changed from a contract mining model to an owner mining model, achieving metal in concentrate production of 229 275 oz 6E (F2017: 239 643 oz 6E), a decline of 4.3% from the comparative prior period.

Owing to the group’s mining capacity exceeding its processing capacity before and during the current financial period, there has been an inventory build-up.

The bulk of the excess inventory, which is estimated at 170 000 oz, is expected to be processed through the expanded smelter complex in F2019.

The value of excess inventory at year-end amounted to R2.1 billion, with an estimated sales value of R2.5 billion.

The group’s growth, diversification and optimisation strategy is on track with good progress being made in the development of the Booysendal South mine and at Zondereinde, the successful commissioning of the second 20MW furnace, which is performing well.

This, together with the acquisition of growth assets such as the Western block resource adjacent to Zonderiende for R1.0 billion, Eland mine for R175.0 million as well as the US based recycling assets, contributed to record capital expenditure of R3.8 billion.

The US Dollar basket price improved by 13.5% to US$910 oz 6E (F2017: US$802 oz 6E), and the average ZAR/USD exchange rate strengthed 5.9% to ZAR12.82/USD (F2017: R13.63/USD).

Total revenue per platinum oz sold is expected to be R26 103 (F2017: R25 050) with unit cash costs per platinum oz at approximately R21 270 (F2017: R19 736).

The group expects normalised headline earnings, defined as the group’s headline earnings adjusted for the impact of Northam’s black economic empowerment transaction, which is the group’s main measure of performance, to be maintained at approximately R420.0 million (F2017: R398.3 million).

The loss and headline loss per share is expected to be between 185.9 cents and 216.0 cents compared with the loss per share of 181.8 cents and headline loss per share of 181.9 cents reported in F2017.

The anticipated loss and headline loss per share is attributable to the Zambezi Platinum (RF) Limited’s noncash preference share dividends, which are consolidated into Northam’s results in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards.

The number of shares in issue remains at 509 781 212 (F2017: 509 781 212) which the group uses to determine the normalised headline earnings per share. The weighted average number of shares in issue for the year ended 30 June 2018 is unchanged at 349 875 759 (F2017: 349 875 759 shares).

The financial information contained in this announcement has not been reviewed or reported on by Northam’s auditors.