Anglo American Platinum slashed billions off its net debt and declared its first dividend since 2011 as it wrapped up its restructuring programme to repair its balance sheet and remove unprofitable mines. The benefit of removing 470,000oz of marginal or unprofitable platinum from its portfolio enabled the 80%-held Anglo American subsidiary to cut net debt to R1.8bn from R12.8bn in 2015, as well as return R900m to shareholders. The improved cash flow of R2.4bn from its mines, 70% of which are on the first half of the industry cash curve, together with R1.1bn from asset sales in 2017 and customer prepayments of R2.6bn not only allowed for the first dividend payment in six years, but positioned Amplats to seriously consider growth projects. “It would be our preference to fund our growth off our balance sheet. We are getting ourselves into a position where we could do that,” said Amplats CEO Chris Griffith. “We have seen a nice underlying cash generation from our assets. Before paying t...

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