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Palabora profit, earnings and sales up

Palabora Mining Company
operates a highly
successful underground
block-cave mine,
producing 30 000
tons per day of
copper ore
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 August 2008 – Palabora Mining Company Limited – a member of the Rio Tinto Group and South Africa’s only producer of refined copper – performed impressively in the first half of 2008, posting significant increases in headline earnings per share, net profit and sales.

Releasing its interim report for the six months to 30 June 2008, the company reported that net profit for the period under review had increased by 21.5% from R382 million in the first half of 2007 to R464 million. The basic earnings per share also rose by 21.5% – from earnings of 791 cents per share from January to June 2007 to earnings of 961 cents per share in the first six months of this year.

The report added that sales of products had increased by R144 million (5%) to R3 257 million. This was largely as a result of higher realised prices of copper, slimes, magnetite and vermiculite

The higher price effect was slightly offset by lower volumes of copper sales.

New managing director Matt Gili commented: “I am pleased to report that Palabora has delivered another set of stellar results in a safe operating environment. The company is maximising the operating value of the asset through its operational excellence programme.”

He went on to point out that during the period under review Palabora had witnessed national power supply shortages which had led to a marginal decline in overall copper production. “However, since then we have also seen a record production, as we achieved a daily record of 40 344 tonnes hoisted during this period,” Gili added.

“It is no secret that there are ever-increasing cost pressures in today’s market place. With the focus on quality and speed, we continue to improve our processes and find optimal means of production in order to eliminate waste; and therefore, contain cost pressures or reduce costs,” he concluded.