TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Platinum junior Anooraq Resources achieved a fourth-quarter cash operating profit of C$2,1-million at its Bokoni platinum mine, on the eastern limb of South Africa's Bushveld Complex, thanks to higher platinum-group-metals prices and cost-saving measures implemented since the company took control of the asset six months earlier.
Anooraq, which plans to boost production to around 270 000 oz/y of platinum group metals by 2103, reported a basic and diluted loss a share of C$0,03, compared with a C$0,04 a share loss in the third quarter of 2009.
"The fourth-quarter results continue to reflect the good work achieved at the operations in the previous quarter and place the company in a positive position after our first half-year of operational control at Bokoni,” CEO Philip Kotze said.
“We are beginning to see the benefits of the operational turnaround strategy employed, as our operating costs continue to decrease and, for the first time, we report an operating profit for the quarter."
Anooraq bought an effective 51% holding in the Bokoni platinum mine last year from Anglo Platinum.
An upgrade of the Bokoni concentrator plant was completed in the fourth quarter, which affected output in the quarter but will allow the company to ramp up to 160 000 t/m by 2014.
Mill throughput declined 2% compared with the third quarter, to 248 999 t in the period, and platinum-group-metal production was essentially flat, although base-metal production – nickel and copper – increased quarter-on-quarter, as mining shifted from UG2 to Merensky ore.
The company reduced operating costs in both rand and US dollar terms in the quarter, Kotze said.
“The shallow depth at which the Bokoni orebody lies and the excellent infrastructure we have in place to access the Merensky and UG2 reefs provides us with an advantage in achieving our cost reduction targets.”
Anooraq ended the quarter with C$30,9-million in cash on hand, and access to medium-term debt facilities of approximately C$83,9-million to finance its share of the three-year growth plan at Bokoni.
Shares in Anooraq Resources slid 1,32% on Wednesday, to C$1,50 apiece by 14:29 in Toronto.