African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Bloomberg - African Rainbow Minerals, the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, would pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit.

ARM would pay investors R6.50 a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday.

The company benefited from a 45% increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93% more for its manganese. 

While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings.

Read also: Billionaire Motsepe's ARC to Raise 4 Billion Rand in Share

The stock climbed 0.8% to R112.86 a share at 9:48 a.m. in Johannesburg, bringing this year’s gain to 15% That’s helped boost the wealth of Executive Chairman Patrice Motsepe, who owns about 40% of the company. The former lawyer turned entrepreneur is worth about $2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

ARM’s headline earnings tripled to R3.2 billion ($250 million) in the year to June 30, the company said in the statement. That was mainly due to the performance of its ferrous division, but it also turned losses to profits at its coal and platinum operations.

The company made a R203 million loss at its copper division and is planning to sell its stake in the Lubambe mine in Zambia to private-equity firm EMR Capital Advisors (Pty).