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Aquarius Platinum production rises

Jan 29 2013 11:15 Reuters

Company Data

AQUARIUS PLATINUM LIMITED [JSE:AQP]

Last traded 4.62
Change -0.03
% Change -0.01
Cumulative volume 456426
Market cap 6.77bn

Last Updated: 23/07/2014 at 01:20. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Cape Town - Miner Aquarius Platinum [JSE:AQP] said quarterly production rose 10%, but the company added that cash generation for the precious platinum remained "constrained" at current spot prices.

The world's fourth largest platinum producer said output rose to 78,987 ounces in the second quarter ended December 31, from 71,954 ounces last year.

Production attributable to Aquarius at its main operation - Kroondal located in the northwest province of South Africa - rose 18%.

South Africa is the source of between three-quarters and four-fifths of the world's platinum, but its mining industry has been hit by a wave of strikes in the last year, some of which have been accompanied by deadly violence.

Mining companies have struggled to maintain profitability as costs rise, while prices remain hurt by reduced demand from carmakers, the leading consumers of the white metal used in catalytic converters.

"It is against this backdrop that management continues to focus on cash preservation and operational stability and improvements," Aquarius said in a statement.

Aquarius said price improvements for platinum and a weak South African rand is expected to substantially reduce cash consumption.

Cash costs at Kroondal fell 7% in the second quarter.  

Last year, Aquarius Platinum suspended production at two of its mines in South Africa - Marikana and Everest - citing low platinum prices.

Shares in the company closed at 68.25 pence on Monday on the London Stock Exchange. They have gained more than two-thirds in value since the end of the first quarter in September.

Its Australia-listed shares closed down 0.5% to A$1.045 on Tuesday.  

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