Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 May 2008 – Eastern Platinum Limited – Canada’s leading platinum group metals producer – has posted record earnings, increased average mining rate, recovery rates and underground development, and improved grades and recovery rates in its South African operations in the first quarter of 2008.
In a statement released here last night on the company’s results for the quarter ended 31 March 2008, the company revealed that Eastplats posted record net earnings of almost US$20 million (R150 million), compared to a net loss of nearly US$10 million (R75 million) in the first quarter of 2007. The company’s results improved over Q1 2007 primarily due to a significant increase in revenues and increased PGM production.
It added that revenues from the Crocodile River mine increased by 80% to $56,4 million (almost R430 million), generated from the sale of 27 825 PGM oz, compared to revenues of US$31.3 million ( nearly R240 million) from the sale of 26 807 PGM oz in Q1 of 2007.
Recovery rates improved to 78% compared to 73% in Q1 2007, due to improved plant operating efficiencies at the Crocodile River Mine, the statement said. Total underground development increased by 20% to 4 409 m during the quarter (3 687 m in Q1 2007), as the company continued to make substantial progress in the development of the ore reserve at the mine.
The results statement went on to say that grade had improved to 4.04 g/t (5PGE+Au), compared to 3.91 g/t) in Q1 of 2007. Average mining rate increased by more than 30%to 93 012 tpm during Q1 2008 from 70 610 tpm in Q1 2007.
The company estimates that full year production for 2008 will drop to 128 500 PGM oz because of power constraints since January this year.
Eastern Platinum president and CEO Ian Rozier said: “We have also commenced underground development at the Crocette Section at Crocodile River, as well as at our Spitzkop property on the eastern limb, and plan on bringing them into production as quickly as possible in order to take advantage of the high PGM prices.”