The mood wasn’t exactly celebratory, but Impala Platinum (Implats) spoke for South Africa’s mining industry when it acknowledged last week that Eskom-sponsored load curtailment was having less of an impact than had been feared. Reporting its year-end numbers on August 31, fittingly the last day of winter, the group’s comments were a far cry from the concerns voiced earlier this year when miners, especially the platinum group metal (PGM) firms, prepared for a collapse of the power grid. 

That bowel-melting dystopia didn’t materialise; in fact, another PGM miner, Sibanye-Stillwater, said it had lost only 2% in metal from load curtailment. This compares to a 15% reduction its CEO, Neal Froneman, had forecast in February, assuming the load curtailment schedules then in force. “We’re very relieved,” says Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African regional head, Richard Stewart. “It could have been much worse.” ..

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