Impala Platinum’s
Marula mine
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 August 2009 – Impala Platinum “’ the world’s second biggest producer of the precious metal “’ announced this morning that its annual earnings had fallen 52% on low prices due to weak demand for the metal, but it forecast rising demand.

Releasing its results here, the company said it expected the world platinum market to move progressively into deficit over the medium-term. This was due to improving demand and a lack of investment in new production capacity which had curtailed the growth in the metal’s supply.

“A sustainable appreciation in the platinum price is forecast over the medium term in line with improved fundamentals,” the group results statement said. “The increase in dollar liquidity following quantitative easing measures is expected to be broadly supportive of platinum group metal (PGM) prices."

The company “’ which is facing the third day of a strike at its biggest mine in South Africa “’ said the global recession had eroded its sales of the metal, while prices of platinum fell by up to 24% in the year to the end of June.

Headline earnings for the financial year had decreased by 52% to 1 001 cents per share, from 2 065 cents per share in the previous financial year.

Production and cost performance had been disappointing, the company added, and gross platinum production for the group had declined by 11% to 1.7 million ounces.

Implats said the unit cost per platinum ounce produced rose by 10% to R8.526.