The axing of 520 employees and removal of others to more profitable areas drove Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) costs down during its third quarter and lifted production, the company said on Thursday. RBPlat started restructuring its operations in the first six months of the year and concluded the process in the September quarter. The process entailed cutting 520 positions to bring down the fixed-cost base at its Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine and shifting two-thirds of its mining crews working at the mine’s South shaft on the UG2 reef to mine the more profitable Merensky reef at the South and North shafts. The cost of producing platinum fell 11%, to R14,535/oz. Mined tonnage increased by 8% and recoveries of metals nudged higher, offsetting a small dip in the grade. As a result, the company posted a 7% improvement in metal output, recording 89,300oz of the four platinum group metals, of which nearly 58,000oz were platinum. Bloomberg reports that Investec analyst Nkateko Mathonsi ...

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