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Cape Town - Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Wednesday pointed to increased production volumes and labour cost-related inflation as cash operating costs for three months to March 31 increased by 12.2 percent to R701 million.

RBPlat said cash operating unit cost per ton milled and 4E ounce were 6.8 percent and 7.2 percent higher for the quarter than the comparative 2016 period at R1 227 per ton milled and R10 823 per 4E ounce respectively.

A key operational focus for the business is to improve the fixed/variable cost ratio of our operations to target below consumer price index unit increases for the year.

As such, the JSE-listed, mid-tier platinum group metals producer has initiated a formal review process of the entire business to identify opportunities and develop a detailed strategy to implement the changes required with a progress report expected around August in the interim results.

RBPlats said capital expenditure ended 56.6 percent higher at R370.6 million compared with the first quarter of 2016.

Read also: Royal Bafokeng to triple capex

Expansion capital expenditure increased by 87.5 percent to R346.1m in line with mining and construction activities geared towards achieving the 150 000 tons per month ramp-up at Styldrift.


Capital expenditure for the quarter amounted to R346 million, bringing total expenditure on the project to R6.80 billion.

RBPlats said total tons delivered to concentrators increased by 17.1 percent to 721000 tons.

Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine contributed 597 000tons and Styldrift 124 000 tons, representing a 7.8 percent and 100 percent increase from the operations respectively.

No fatalities were recorded during the reporting period.

RBPlat shares rose 0.33 percent on the JSE to close at R36.62.