Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 January 2009 – There is still a chance that Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) – the second biggest platinum producer in the world – could make another bid for Mvelaphanda Resources and its 63% held subsidiary Northam Platinum, in order to get its hands on the Booysendal prospect.
Speaking on SAfm Market Update, Implats CEO David Brown said: “I don’t think you would say this is it. Quite clearly, we believe the strategic approach that we took to this particular deal is still valid. Obviously if we were to see improved conditions which gave us greater confidence with regard to value, and they were able to look at their own value proposition, who knows?” he added.
“But I don’t think you can say over forever, but certainly for now,” Brown admitted.
“Quite clearly the current environment has changed quite dramatically over the last couple of months, and obviously the outlook for 2009 still remains quite poor,” Brown said.
“And it really was a question of us putting down what we thought was the right value proposition; and Northam and Mvela were obviously well within their right to say whether they regarded it as fair or not from their perspective – and quite clearly they didn’t,” he continued.
Brown expressed the opinion that the two parties just couldn’t find one other on the overall value proposition, rather than a specific difference over cash.
“The focus for the next year and a half will be on existing operations,” Brown emphasised.
“Our focus, I suppose, for the next 15 to 18 months would be in the order of concentrating on production numbers, getting productivity right, making sure that the cost base is appropriate for the current environment, and obviously cash preservation,"” he explained. “So those are certainly the short-term pillars we are concentrating on, and obviously that does have an impact on what one does in other areas.”