an aerial overview of surface operations at Northam Booysendal.Photo Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Platinum miner Northam said on Monday it produced 571,843 ounces of equivalent refined metal in the year ended June, a 4.5 percent increase over the same period last year.

Northam said this followed a strong operational performance from its Zondereinde mine which increased production by seven percent on a year-on-year basis. Output at the Booysendal mine was however adversely affected by a work stoppage in May, when it changed from a contract mining model to an owner mining model.

"Owing to the group’s mining capacity exceeding its processing capacity before and during the current financial period, there has been an inventory build-up," Northam said.

"The bulk of the excess inventory, which is estimated at 170,000 oz, is expected to be processed through the expanded smelter complex in F2019. The value of excess inventory at year-end amounted to R2.1 billion, with an estimated sales value of R2.5 billion."

The company said its growth, diversification and optimisation strategy was on track, with good progress being made in the development of the Booysendal South mine and at Zondereinde, the successful commissioning of the second 20MW furnace which was performing well.

This, together with the acquisition of growth assets such as the Western block resource adjacent to Zonderiende for R1 billion, Eland mine for R175 million as well as US based recycling assets, contributed to record capital expenditure of R3.8 billion.

Northam said it expected normalised headline earnings, the group’s main measure of performance defined as headline earnings adjusted for the impact of Northam’s black economic empowerment transaction, to be maintained at approximately R420 million.

The loss and headline loss per share were expected to be between 185.9 cents and 216.0 cents compared with the loss per share of 181.8 cents and headline loss per share of 181.9 cents reported last year.

- African News Agency (ANA)