[miningmx.com] –Toronto, AIM and JSE-listed Eastern Platinum on Wednesday reported a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of
$824 000 for the quarter ended March 2010 compared with $3.164m in the first quarter of 2009. EBITDA was $8.996m compared with $7.018m in Q1 2009.
Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastplats, said production at Crocodile River
Mine (CRM) was 30 531 PGM ounces – 7% lower than the 32 969 PGM ounces produced in Q1 2009, due to a much slower than anticipated start-up following the December holiday season.
PGM production in Q1 2009 benefitted from the processing of approximately 25 000 tonnes of ore which had been stockpiled at the end of 2008. No such stockpile was built in Q3 and Q4 of 2009 as a result of the industrial action at CRM in July 2009.
The average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was $959, an increase of 63% compared to $590 in Q1 2009. The Rand average delivered basket price per PGM ounce was R7 202, an increase of 23% compared to R5 865 in Q1 2009.
Rand operating cash costs net of by-product credits were R5 336 per ounce, an increase of 38% compared to R3 857 per ounce in Q1 2009. Rand operating cash costs were R6 315 per ounce, an increase of 19% compared to R5 326 per ounce in Q1 2009.
US dollar operating cash costs net of by-product credits were $711 per ounce, an 83% increase from $388 per ounce achieved in Q1 2009. Operating cash costs were $841 per ounce, an increase of 57% compared to the $536 per ounce in Q1 2009.
The company’s Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate was 1.77 in Q1 2010, down from 1.83 in Q1 2009.
At end March, the company had a cash position of $17.293m compared with
$21.658m at the end of December 2009.
Rozier added that underground development commenced at Crocette on April 4.
“The slow start to 2010 affected all aspects of our operations. However, our
mining rates have since picked up to normal levels and this together with PGM prices trending higher, should put us on track for a more profitable second quarter,” said Rozier.