The Two Rivers mine
in Mpumalanga – one
of the South African
operations of Implats
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 August 2008 – Shares in Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) – second biggest platinum producer in the world – rose 9% higher yesterday, partly boosted by market talk that BHP Billiton – the world’s largest diversified mining and resources company – could bid for the South African company.

Reporting this possible development from here, Reuters quoted Investec Securities trader Roy Lamb as saying: “At the moment it is pure speculation, but yes, for sure, the speculation is affecting the price.”

The news agency reports that BHP declined to comment. “It’s company policy not to comment on speculation or rumours,” BHP’s London-based spokesman Illtud Harri told Reuters.

The agency added that the stock took off after an article on South African website www.Miningmx.com said BHP may soon have no choice but to make an offer of at least R200 billion for Implats.

The article said BHP – with some 38 000 employees across 100 operations in approximately 25 countries – had the world’s best and most diversified portfolio of assets in the resources sector with the exception of platinum, to which it had no exposure.

“Implats has no controlling shareholder,” the article added, arguing that if Xstrata succeeded in acquiring control of Lonmin – the world’s third-biggest producer of platinum – Implats would be the only remaining platinum asset worldwide. The South African company’s bigger rival, Anglo Platinum, is owned by global miner Anglo American Plc.