JSE-listed Eastern Platinum’s (Eastplats’) revenue increased by 8.1% year-on-year to $17.2-million for the quarter ended September 30.
This brought its revenue for the year-to-date to $55.1-million, representing a 4.8% year-on-year increase.
Mine operating income increased by $2.5-million, or 133.6%, to $4.4-million in the third quarter, resulting in an improved gross margin of 25.7%, compared with 11.9% in the third quarter of 2021.
Eastplats reported a net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $4.1-million for the third quarter, compared with a net loss attributable to equity shareholders of $2.5-million.
The widened net loss was largely attributable to a larger foreign exchange loss owing to the significant depreciation of the rand to the dollar in the period under review.
The company continues its retreatment project at Barplats Mines’ tailings facility located at the Crocodile River mine (CRM), in South Africa.
The majority of the company’s revenue is generated from the offtake agreement with Union Goal Offshore Solution in relation to chrome concentrate production from the retreatment project. The remaining revenue was generated from platinum group metal (PGM) concentrate sales to Impala Platinum.
Eastplats is currently owed about $16.4-million from Union Goal in accounts receivable from processing and dispatching chrome concentrate, in addition to $2.6-million for chrome concentrate not yet invoiced.
Management says it continues to communicate with Union Goal to determine an agreeable outcome. It still expects to receive all monies owed to it and will pursue all commercial options available to it to collect these amounts.
“We continue to focus on achieving a commercial result to reduce Union Goal’s outstanding receivables. Furthermore, we are working with our South African management team to reduce production costs.
“We remain committed to the Zandfontein underground restart plan, and expect the initial processing of the upper group two chromitite ore in the first quarter of 2023,” says CEO and president Wanjin Yang.
Eastplats’ targets include operating and optimising the retreatment project and maximising returns.
It is pursuing completion of the optimisation programme for the retreatment project (ongoing); the ongoing operating and optimising of the PGM Circuits; the ongoing raising of capital to accelerate the restart of Zandfontein underground operations at the CRM; and to complete the second phase of the tailings storage facility capital works programme.
Eastplats will also look to advance the Mareesburg project’s environmental work to complete the legal analysis on the environmental-impact assessment (EIA) and other environmental studies and amendments; continue prospecting and assessment work in relation to the Zandfontein, Crocette and Spitzkop orebodies; keep working on the EIA assessment, and structure and geology-related drill programme at Spitzkop; and complete the EIA and assessment work regarding a vertical furnace and pelletiser of chrome concentrate.
It will also update other capital assessments upon completion of capital fundraising.