Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), today reported a revenue increase of 4 percent for the first six months of the year but said it expects platinum prices to remain subdued for the remainder of the year. 

“The platinum market is forecast to be in surplus in 2018. Without significant supply cuts from loss-making mines, prolonged lower platinum prices can be expected,” RBPlat said.

The mid-tier platinum group metals producer said Styldrift production levels and delivered grades continue to improve as ramp-up progresses towards achieving the 150 thousand tonnes per month (ktpm) production milestone during the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Good progress has also been made with the rehabilitation and construction of Silo 4 which, as explained in our 2017 integrated report, had been impacted by worse than expected geotechnical conditions,” the miner said.

“Silo 4 represents the last key piece of capital infrastructure required to sustainably support the production of 150ktpm and will be commissioned during the last quarter of 2018”.

The group’s net revenue improved by 4.1 percent from R1.5 billion in the first half of 2017 to R1.6bn for the first half of this year. The miner’s gross profit margin increased from 0.7 percent in the comparative period to 9.4 percent for the six months under review. The group said the improvement was due to a 4.1 percent improvement in net revenue and a 5 percent reduction in total cost of sales.

The group last month appointed a new chief financial officer and executive director.

Hanré Rossouw will take over from October 1. He succeeds Martin Prinsloo, who resigned in April, having been in the position since March 2009.