Northam lifts metal output 6.3 percent

[] — NORTHAM Platinum on Friday posted flat full-year earnings and forecast challenges at its key Zondereinde mine.

The company said headline earnings per share totalled 177.8 cents in the year to end-June, compared with 172.2 cents a year earlier.

Revenue rose nearly 24%, helped by an increase in both volume and the US dollar basket price, which was $1,185 per ounce.

“The higher sales volumes were achieved on the back of higher production and higher purchases of metals in concentrate,” the company said in a statement.

Northam said production of metals in concentrate during the year increased by 6.3% to 9,999 kg.

Northam, which produces 300,000 ounces of platinum group metals a year, a sliver of the 2.5 million ounces from rival Anglo Platinum, the world’s largest producer, said it lost 7,000 ounces in output after an accident forced it to shut down its Zondereinde mine in South Africa.

“The challenges of mining Merensky reef at the Zondereinde mine continue, and production at the mine is likely to be lower than that achieved in the past year,” it said.

Headline earnings are the main gauge of earnings in South Africa and strip out certain one-time items.