Platinum ore is being processed in this file photograph. Picture: REUTERS
Platinum ore is being processed in this file photograph. Picture: REUTERS

Impala Platinum (Implats), the world’s second-largest miner of the metal, says it returned to profits in the year to end-June thanks partly to higher platinum group metals (PGM) prices.

The group said on Monday its refined platinum production in the year is expected to be 4% up at 1.5-million ounces, mainly thanks to a better performance from Impala Rustenburg and a “stock release” of platinum, versus a stock build-up the prior year.

Platinum sales volumes probably rose 12% to 1.5-million ounces, it said.

The miner said that thanks to higher PGM prices in rands, and “improved operational performances”, it expects to report positive basic and headline earnings per share for the year.

In the prior year, it made a headline loss per share of 171c, while basic earnings were heavily weighed down by impairments of R9.7bn.

“This represents a significant improvement in the group performance for the period.”

Implats plans to publish its annual results on or about 5 September 2019.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za