Heaps of platinum ore ahead of the concentration process. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Heaps of platinum ore ahead of the concentration process. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Toronto- and Johannesburg-listed Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) said on Friday cash flows from its Crocodile River Mine retreatment project were sufficient to cover operating expenses in its 2020 year, though the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat.

The miner narrowed its full-year loss to end-December after starting to generate revenue from its previously mothballed Crocodile River Mine retreatment project in December 2018.

The group had started tailings retreatment at the mine near Brits in the North West to extract chrome, and is now also extracting platinum group metals (PGM) concentrate. The underground operations at the mine remain in care and maintenance.

The group reported its operating loss decreased by 91% to $2.4m (R42m) during its 2019 year, from $25.7m previously, with revenue rocketing to $39.2m, from $0.4m previously.

The group said the effect of the Covid-19 virus was expected to be temporary, but the effect on operations could not be reasonably estimated.

The share price of Eastplats, which has a market capitalisation of R148m, was unchanged at R1.60 on Friday morning, having risen 6.67% over the past 12 months.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za