Workers at RBPlat’s Styldrift Mine in North West celebrate the intersection of the Merensky Reef 600m below the surface. File photo: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE
Workers at RBPlat’s Styldrift Mine in North West celebrate the intersection of the Merensky Reef 600m below the surface. File photo: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) rounded off its interim period with a profit as its new Styldrift mine powered towards full production.

The interim period and the period thereafter were notable for a spate of deals, including the purchase of the neighbouring Maseve concentrator and the R1.86bn deal with Anglo American Platinum to buy its 33% stake in the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine joint venture.

These deals set RBPlat up to have a firmer grip on its future.

RBPlat reported a net profit of R10m for the six months to end-June, compared with a net loss of R27m in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was 4% higher at R1.66bn.

Output of the four key platinum group metals — platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold — increased 6% during the interim period to 164,500oz, with platinum making up the lion’s share at 106,500oz.

RBPlat’s key focus for the balance of the year will be to ramp up the Styldrift mine to steady-state production of 150,000 tonnes a month during the fourth quarter of 2018, and to commission the idled Maseve concentrator during the third quarter of the year.

Full-year production guidance remained unchanged at between 370,000oz and 387,000oz of the four platinum group metals, with costs forecast to rise at below consumer price inflation.

RBPlats will incur up to R3.1bn on capital expenditure this year.

seccombea@bdfm.co.za