Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) aims to raise R1.5 billion in equity to support its Styldrift 1 mine project. Performance at Styldrift I was strong in 2013 and the project is 1.7% ahead of schedule and on budget, the JSE-listed company said on Tuesday.

The main and services shafts reached shaft loading level and, together with the progress on lateral development and raise boring for the ore passes and silos, RBPlat will be well positioned to begin stoping ramp-up in July 2015 and steady state three years later. The budget for this project has been reduced by R787 million due to a board-approved change of scope and a revised concentrator strategy. At year end, cumulative expenditure was R2 511 million and reflects a saving of R194 million on work to date.

RBPlat’s focus in the remainder of the current year will be to maintain flexibility in the business, to finalise the funding for Styldrift I, to successfully negotiate a wage agreement and to commit to those enterprises that ensure the safety of the workforce and the licence to operate, the company said.

“Our strategies are informed by the longer term and not by a short term recovery in the PGM market,” explained Steve Phiri, RBPlat chief executive. “This means that during the remainder of the year we will focus on optimising volumes while retaining the flexibility we have already achieved. Grades, operating costs and ensuring there are no disruptions caused by the BRPM concentrator upgrade will also be under scrutiny. Given our successes in 2013, we have every reason to believe that we will deliver another strong performance in a year’s time.”

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