Siyanda Bakgatla Platinum Mine (SBPM) CFO Imraan Osman says the Siyanda Bakgatla mine it acquired from Anglo American Platinum in 2018 has continued to exceed expectations.
SBPM expects to produce 270 325 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (4E) for the financial year ending February 28 from the Limpopo-based mine, despite more than a month of lost production owing to the Covid-19-related lockdown in April last year.
The company expects to report earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of about R4.2-billion for the financial year.
Osman also reports that the company has signed a three-year comprehensive wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union until 2022, which ensures a stable labour environment for the company’s 7 000 employees and contractors.
He comments that the company’s operating performance was based on a higher quality and quantity of fresh ore from underground operations, an optimised metallurgical circuit – which has improved platinum group metal (PGM) recoveries – and the enhanced supply chain management system, which has reduced costs and improved working capital management.
“Entering the PGM industry at the opportune time has further enabled us to leverage off the buoyant commodity prices currently being experienced in the sector,” Osman notes.
SBPM has spent in excess of R430-million in development expenditure to open new working areas and create further operational flexibility underground.
This created the ability for the mine to improve throughput while extracting higher-quality tonnes from its underground operations.
The higher production, coupled with recovery improvements on the metallurgical circuit, resulted in a 20% increase in production of 308 536 oz in the 2020 financial year, against the 2017 performance under the previous management.
Through the various initiatives, and with a favourable PGMs pricing environment, the business successfully generated Ebitda of R3.3-billion in the 2020 financial year, which was 107% higher year-on-year.
This resulted in SBPM reporting a R705-million profit after tax and a R200-million dividend payment to shareholders, which includes local communities (27%) and employees (7.3%) who participate in the employee share scheme.