Nickel in doubt in ARM’s portfolio after chunky impairment
African Rainbow Minerals impairs its struggling Nkomati Nickel by R1.2bn and keeps investors guessing about its dividend payment ratio policy, again
African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) reported a slip in interim profit because of a hefty impairment against its struggling Nkomati Nickel mine, which needs a cash injection, as shareholders were again kept waiting for a definitive dividend policy. The diversified empowerment mining company kept its investors and analysts in the dark about a clear dividend policy and ratio, with executive chair and billionaire Patrice Motsepe dodging the question of when such a policy would be unveiled despite saying it was a topic of board discussion. ARM reported a post-tax profit of R1.496bn for the six months to end-December against a profit of R1.89bn a year earlier. Included in the numbers is an impairment of R1.166bn against the unprofitable Nkomati mine.
Nkomati is shared by ARM and Russian nickel and palladium miner Norilsk Nickel, which has, for years, wanted to sell its stake in the operation. It tried unsuccessfully to conclude a deal with Botswana’s state-owned BCL.