HomeNewsAquarius profits up 25% in Q2 of 2007

Aquarius profits up 25% in Q2 of 2007

Marikana – the Aquarius
operation which showed
a 45% increase in
production in the
second half of 2007
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 8 February, 2008 – Aquarius Platinum Limited –a focused platinum group metals producer in southern Africa, and listed on the Australian, London and Johannesburg stock exchanges – is living up to its reputation as one of the world’s fastest growing platinum companies.

The company has interests in five operations – four on the world-renowned Bushveld Complex in South Africa, and the other on the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe.

Announcing its first half financial results to 31 December 2007, the company revealed a 25% increase in net profit to US$106.6 million (R800 million). Revenue was up 28% to US$423.7 million (more than R3.1 billion), although actual on-mine production dropped 2.5% to just over 460 000 PGM oz (277 813 oz attributable).

Most impressive production increase was at Marikana, where P and SA2 underground development has been ramping up. Production rose 45% from 69 941 to 72 944 PGM oz

Continued ramp-up at Everest lifted production in the period under review. Production rose 15% from 82 908 to 95 560 PGM oz. At Kroondal production dropped 13% from 238 902 to 208 035 PGM oz, but significant underground development was completed.

Production at CTRP was a substantial 54% at 5 496 PGM oz, compared to 3 576 PGM oz in the same period of 2006.

And in Zimbabwe, production at Mimosa rose by 3% from 76 078 to 78 032 PGM oz. The Wedza Phase 5 expansion there is now 85% complete, and commissioning is scheduled for March 2008.

The results announcement also points out that average basket prices increased by 25% to US$1 502 (over R11 200) per PGM oz. Consolidated cash balance at the period end totalled US$368.7 million (almost R2.8 billion) – up US$81 million (over R600 million) since June 2007.

Meanwhile Aquarius has entered into a binding agreement for the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Platinum Mile Resources (Pty) Ltd mine wastage processing project for R420 million. The shareholding will be acquired from a consortium of private investors and Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Platinum Mile operates a tailings re-treatment facility in Rustenburg, North West Province. The plant currently produces approximately 20 000 PGM oz pa, and production ramp-up plans and technological innovations should see production from the operation increase to above 35 000 oz pa.