Aquarius Platinum puts Everest Mine on care and maintenance

Due to an platinum market that is an "abiding surplus", the board at Aquarius Platinum (LON:AQP) placed its Everest mine on care and maintenance today.

The company's stock dropped 8.37% on Thursday closing at $54.70.

The company issued a gloomy view of the current appetite for PGM.

"The board is of the view that the platinum market is in an abiding surplus, with the industry generating nearly half a million ounces of unneeded platinum each year due to the current European economic crisis, among other factors," said the company in a news release.

"From an operating perspective, costs continue to rise at above the rate of domestic South African inflation, while labour productivity has declined. As a result PGM prices in both Rand and US Dollar terms are likely to remain stagnant for some time, and margins will remain under severe pressure across the industry."

Aquarius also chose to halt production at Everest due to poor ground conditions and "on-going disruptive industrial relations over an extended period."

The company says it plans to focus on cash conservation.