Johannesburg, 2 August 2022. Royal Bafokeng Platinum today published its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2022.
“The combination of a world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdown in China, and the war in Ukraine have disrupted global supply chains. Inflation is rising and fears of a global recession loom large.
As RBPlat, we have built a robust business with a strong management team that works tirelessly to deliver on all the operational and strategic objectives of the business, whether this be the Covid-19 pandemic, or the geopolitical tensions created by Russia invading Ukraine,” said Steve Phiri, Chief Executive Officer of RBPlat.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW
• Revenue decreased by 14.7% to R8 173.4 million
• EBITDA decreased by 38.1% to R3 406.1 million
• Gross profit decreased by 46.3% to R2 772.2 million
• Headline earnings decreased by 54.5% to R2 218.0 million
• Headline earnings per share decreased by 58.1% to 767.3 cents
• Interim gross cash dividend of 245 cents per share declared, equating to
Safety and operational performance
• Zero fatalities
• Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) improved by 32.5%
• Serious injury frequency rate (SIFR) improved by 31.0%
• Total injury frequency rate (TIFR) deteriorated by 8.7%
• 4E metals in concentrate increased by 4.5% to 225.5koz
• Total tonnes milled increased by 6.7% to 2 304kt
• Unit cost per tonne milled increased by 12.9% to R1 877/t
• Unit cost per 4E ounce increased by 15.2% to R19 183/4E oz
More than Mining
• R2.5 billion procurement spend on historically disadvantaged businesses
• 94% of our employees fully vaccinated against Covid-19
Ensuring a safe operating environment and the wellbeing of our workforce is key to achieving zero harm. We are pleased to announce that we have reached a historic safety milestone and achieved 3 million fatality-free shifts on 3 July 2022.
Our LTIFR and SIFR both improved by more than 30%, respectively. However, our TIFR deteriorated by 8.7%.
The improvements in our SIFR and LTIFR highlight that our safety initiatives are contributing to reducing the severity of events, however the 8.7% deterioration in our TIFR requires further improvements in our safety mindset and behaviour for us to achieve an agile safety culture.
Currently, 94% of our employees are fully vaccinated, which has resulted in limited exposure to the impact of the fifth wave of Covid-19.
Total reef tonnes hoisted for the reporting period increased by 8.1% to 2.333 million tonnes.
BRPM hoisted 1.276 million tonnes, which is a record H1 performance, averaging 212 thousand tonnes per month. Styldrift’s contribution increased by 3.6% to 1.057 million tonnes.
UG2 tonnes hoisted increased by 34.8%, from 500 thousand tonnes to 674 thousand tonnes, in line with BRPM’s transition to UG2.
The total built-up head grade decreased by 1.6% to 3.75g/t (4E). The reduction is attributable to a 4.5% decrease in the Styldrift built-up head grade. This decrease is due to reduced stoping tonnage contribution from the geologically affected higher grade North mining sections, additional on-reef dilution, as these sections are redeveloped and increased dilution associated
with in-stope mining controls.
Improved volumes combined with lower grade and associated recovery yielded a 4.5% and 4.9% increase in 4E and 6E metals in concentrate, with total production for the period being 225.5 and 253.9 thousand ounces, respectively.
Cash operating costs increased by R733 million or 20.4% year-on-year to R4 325 million, attributable to higher hoisted and milled volumes and external inflationary pressures.
Cash operating cost per tonne milled, 4E and 6E ounce increased by 12.9%,15.2% and 14.7%,
espectively to R1 877 per tonne milled, R19 183 per 4E ounce and R17 037 per 6E ounce.
EBITDA decreased by 38.1% from R5 499.1 million to R3 406.1 million, with our EBITDA margin decreasing to 41.7% from 57.4% in 2021.
Notwithstanding the increase in production, the lower basket price resulted in revenue for the six months decreasing by 14.7% to R8 173.4 million.
Cost of sales increased by 22.1% to R5 401.2 million, mainly due to increased production volumes as well as on-mine inflation, which was higher than CPI.
The decline in PGM basket price, coupled with the increase in cost of sales, resulted in a 46.3% decrease in gross profit to R2 772.2 million.
Headline adjustments resulted in a slight increase in headline earnings to R2 218.0 million and, on a per share basis, headline earnings decreased by 58.1% to 767.3 cents.
We ended the six-month period, with undrawn facilities and a net cash balance of R4 883.8 million, compared to a net cash of R3 625.2 million in the comparative period, which is a 34.7% improvement in our net cash position.
In line with the dividend policy and given the uncertainty around the global economy as well as the corporate action, the Board declared an interim dividend of 245 cents per share, equating to R711 million.
CORPORATE ACTION UPDATE
In 2021, both Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) and Northam Platinum Holdings Limited (Northam), acquired significant shareholdings in RBPlat.
Implats Mandatory Offer to RBPlat shareholders opened in January 2022, and in April they received confirmation that the South African Competition Commission had recommended that the South African Competition Tribunal (Competition Tribunal) approved the proposed transaction, subject to certain conditions being met.
In June, the Competition Tribunal granted Northam leave to participate in the merger proceedings before the Tribunal, following Northam’s application to intervene in the proceedings, but only on the issue that Junior PGM producers would be impacted by the merger as averred by Northam. Northam has appealed this ruling to the Competition Appeal Court and the matter is pending.
The Implats offer remains the only offer to be considered by our shareholders. Due to the intervention application and the subsequent appeal, the closing date of the Implats offer has been extended to 16 September 2022.
MORE THAN MINING
We continue to work on delivering ‘More than Mining’ in our work environment and in our communities. Although Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, we still encourage our employees to continue taking the necessary health precautions to stay safe and healthy. To date, we have incurred R8 million Covid-related expenditure towards our employee wellbeing.
In 2021, we constructed two schools at a cost of R140 million, in conjunction with the North West Department of Education at our employee housing Estate, that opened their doors to learners at the start of this school year. The schools not only cater for our employees’ children from Waterkloof Hills Estate, but also accommodate learners from the surrounding communities.
Waterkloof Hills Primary School, which has a total capacity of 1 280 learners, currently has 470 learners enrolled in Grades R to 4, while Waterkloof Hills Secondary School, which has a total capacity of 875 learners, currently has 375 learners enrolled in Grades 8 and 9. Additional Grades will be phased in over the next few years.
Both schools will be handed over to the North West Department of Education and we have pledged a further R2 million to equip the school libraries with the necessary resources.
In 2020, we began advancing the participation of host communities in the mine’s core operations, by establishing two strategic host community companies, Boleng Mining Solutions (BMS) and Phenyo Africa Mining Solutions (PAMS), in addition to several others that were already in existence. Our support and training provided to BMS, PAMS and other local businesses helps to ensure that they are capacitated to operate not only at our operations but the broader
mining industry. In addition, more than 83% of our discretionary spend is with historically disadvantaged businesses.
OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE
Subject to any unforeseen operational disruptions, our full year production remains forecast at 4.65 million tonnes and 4.90 million tonnes, yielding 485 thousand ounces to 505 thousand ounces of 4E metals in concentrate. Group cash unit cost forecast is revised upward to between R18 500 and R19 000 per 4E ounce.
Group capital expenditure for 2022, including escalation contingencies, is forecast at approximately R2.2 billion. SIB expenditure is expected to be between 9% and 10% of operating cost.
ABOUT ROYAL BAFOKENG PLATINUM
Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat)