Bloomberg reports the proposed expansion by South Africa's Royal Bafokeng Platinum follows an increase in demand for platinum which has gained 19% in the past 12 months to $1,818.
Steve Phiri, RB Platinum CEO said demand is likely to exceed supply in the next three years, while a shortage of palladium, typically mined along with platinum, may rise to 1 million ounces in 2014. South Africa produces more than three-quarters of global supply.
Bloomberg reports the company’s platinum group metal output totaled 288,000 ounces last year and 142,100 ounces in the first half.
ALEC HOGG: And you’ve also accelerated your capital expenditure, very clean balance sheet, no debt, a billion rand plus in the bank. The intention there of accelerating CAPEX, is this something that you’re going to be doing more in future?
STEVE PHIRI: Yes, yes, that’s the intention of doing it more in order to cover more ground with our projects. Remember our major project is Styldrift One, which is a seven year project which will ramp up fully in 2017 but there’s a critical period, 2014 to 2016, when we’ll be hitting the ground, hitting the reef and developing it for a ramp up. That’s always a critical period in mining development, so we need to be ahead of schedule so that if we lose any time in between those two stages, we’re still within schedule of the project. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do but remember, we’ve accelerated capital expenditure, we are ahead of schedule but we also are reporting a saving of R233.4m on Styldift One. That is declared and we did announce during IPO that we’re looking forward to saving R1bn of the R11.8bn set aside for Styldift. I think we are on course.
Image is of the Bafokeng (meaning People of the Dew) flag. The Bafokeng people who today number around 300,000 souls trace their history back to the 1100s. Kgosi (King) Sekete III, who ruled in the early 18th century, was the first in the line of the current king, Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi being his 15th direct descendant.