JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – JSE-listed platinum-group metals (PGMs) and chrome co-producer Tharisa officially joined the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Wednesday, when company shares began trading on the LSE’s main market at 8:00 BST.
About 255-million shares were in issue on admission, giving Tharisa a market capitalisation of about £94.6-million, based on the closing mid-market price of the company’s shares on the JSE of R8.00 and a rand/pound foreign exchange rate of R21.54/£ as at June 7.
LSE CEO and group director of international development Nikhil Rathi noted that the listing demonstrated London’s ability to support mining and natural resources companies, even during challenging market conditions.
“As well as giving companies international visibility, the London Stock Exchange has identified that, on average, companies with a secondary listing in London enjoy higher trading volumes compared to those dual listed on another market,” he added.
Tharisa CEO Phoevos Pouroulis noted that the company’s admission on the main market in London marked an important milestone in Tharisa’s development, as it raised the company’s international profile and opened up access to a wider pool of investors.
“Tharisa provides London investors with a rare opportunity to invest in a mature mid-cap mining company with quality producing assets, a strong existing customer base and a highly experienced management team,” he said, further highlighting that, with prices now recovering, coupled with the London listing, Tharisa was well placed to take advantage of opportunities.
Tharisa controlled the world’s single-largest chrome reserve at 828-million tonnes, with a 20-year mine life and the option to extend operations underground by a further 40 years.
The mechanised openpit operation supported low-cost mining, putting Tharisa in the lowest quartile of PGM and chrome producers. Steady-state production of 147 400 oz/y PGMs and 1.33-million tonnes of chrome concentrate was planned for 2016.
Following a period of weak commodity prices subsequent to the end of the last financial year, both chrome concentrate prices and demand recorded a recovery during the third quarter of 2016, as demand returned to previous levels with current transaction prices at about $145/t, versus an average of $106/t for the first half of the year.