Kumba Iron Ore reverses Sishen mine-linked impairment charge

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 9 (Reuters) – South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore said on Friday it had reversed a 4.8 billion rand ($396 million) pretax impairment charge on its Sishen mine in its 2017 results, following an improved operational performance at the mine.

The unit of Anglo American said reversal, net of tax and non-controlling interest, was 2.6 billion rand and would be included in its basic earnings but excluded from headline earnings.

"The improved operational performance at Sishen mine, as a result of improved levels of production and operating efficiencies, as well as the recovery in the price outlook for the iron ore market, has necessitated an assessment of the recoverable amount of the Sishen mine," the firm said in a statement.

The Sishen mine, in the arid northwestern part of the country, produced 15.6 million tonnes of iron ore in the six-months ended June. 30.

Kumba said it expected headline earnings per share for the year to Dec. 31 to increase by between 7 and 15 percent to between 29.13 rand and 31.27 rand.

"The increase in headline earnings is largely attributable to higher sales volumes on the back of improved operational performance as well as an increase in export iron ore prices," the iron ore producer said.

($1 = 12.1196 rand)

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)