Impala Platinum expects refined platinum production for the half year ended last December to increase by 10 percent to 800 kilo ounces. Photo: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG  - Impala Platinum expects refined platinum production for the half year ended last December to increase by 10 percent to 800 kilo ounces, the company said on Monday.

Implats, which will release results for the half year ended December 31 on February 28, said the increase in refined platinum output was primarily due to a stock release of about 44 koz platinum and improved performance from Impala Rustenburg.

"During the comparative period, refined production was impacted by an inventory build-up following furnace maintenance undertaken during that period," it said.

Platinum sales volumes were expected to increase by 19 percent to 773 koz, it said.

During the same period in 2017, sales volumes were lower than refined metal, primarily due to toll metal of 116 koz returned to a third party.

Implats said due to an improved rand PGM (platinum group metals) basket price, as well as improved safety and operational performances, it expected interim headline earnings per share to increase to at least 292 cents per share, compared with a loss per share of 21 cents per share.

- African News Agency (ANA)