Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 29 July 2008 – Anglo Platinum – the world’s largest primary producer of platinum – has announced record headline earnings for the half-year ended 30 June 2008. Headline earnings increased 22% to R8.44 billion, and headline earnings per share, attributable to ordinary shareholders, rose by 21% to R35.63.
Revealing this in a news release here, Anglo Platinum said the primary factors contributing to the increased earnings had been higher US dollar prices realised on metals sold, a weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate, and a lower effective tax rate. This had been offset by lower sales volumes on the back of reduced production from mining and processing operations, higher operating costs, and a significant increase in the cost of purchasing metal from joint venture partners. An interim dividend of R35.00 per ordinary share had been declared, maintaining a dividend cover of one.
CEO Neville Nicolau said, “Our record financial performance during the period was driven by strong demand and record metal prices in the face of significant operational challenges. We are pleased with the progress made on improving employee safety while implementing programmes to move towards zero harm,” he added.
The news release revealed that platinum production from mining operations had decreased by 11% to 1.13 million ounces in the first half of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007. This had been primarily as a result of the flood-related disruption of operations at the Amandelbult mine, the Turffontein shaft rehabilitation, lower throughput at the Mogalakwena South concentrator, and electricity supply constraints. The reduction in refined platinum to 1.00 million ounces – a 16% decrease – had been due to the reduced mining output and an increase in process pipeline stocks associated with smelting facility repairs and maintenance. In line with contractual commitments, refined platinum sales were 1.11 million ounces as a result of a temporary reduction in normal working levels of refined stock.
“We are pleased that the Amandelbult mine has returned to full production and that the Mogalakwena North concentrator will be at full production in September,” said Nicolau. “These are both instrumental in our planned increase in mining output in the second half to reach 2.4 million ounces for 2008.”
“Anglo Platinum remains confident of continued robust demand for platinum, and is committed to increasing production in line with growth in global demand,” said the news release. “In the first half of 2008, our board approved new capital expenditure to the value of R24.8 billion, in nominal terms, in continued support of maintaining existing and developing additional production capacity.”