Announcements 2003

Change to the board

Northam Platinum Limited advises the following change to its board.


Northam Platinum Limited advises the following change to its board:

Mr. Barry Davison has resigned from the board of Northam Platinum Limited. His resignation takes effect on 30 June 2003.

Mr. Ralph Havenstein has been appointed in his place as non-executive director with effect from 1 July 2003

Results of General Meeting

The directors of Northam announce that, at the general meeting of shareholders held on Wednesday, 16 April 2003, the ordinary resolution authorising the reduction of the share premium account of the company by R46 307 700 from R2 122 121 689 to R2 075 813 989 by means of a repayment of share premium to shareholders of 20 cents per Northam share ("the distribution"), was passed by the requisite majority.


The directors of Northam announce that, at the general meeting of shareholders held on Wednesday, 16 April 2003, the ordinary resolution authorising the reduction of the share premium account of the company by R46 307 700 from R2 122 121 689 to R2 075 813 989 by means of a repayment of share premium to shareholders of 20 cents per Northam share ("the distribution"), was passed by the requisite majority.

Salient dates for the distribution

The distribution will be paid on Monday, 12 May 2003 to those shareholders of the company who are recorded in the register on Friday, 9 May 2003 ("the record date").

To comply with the procedures of STRATE, the last date to trade, cum the distribution, in the company"s shares for purposes of entitlement to the distribution is Friday, 2 May 2003. The shares will commence trading ex the distribution on Monday, 5 May 2003. Share certificates may not be dematerialised or rematerialised between Monday, 5 May 2003 and Friday, 9 May 2003, both days inclusive.

Circular to shareholders

Circular to shareholders regarding the proposed reduction of the share capital of Northam by way of a repayment of share premium, and incorporating – a notice of general meeting of shareholders; and – a form of proxy.


Circular to shareholders regarding the proposed reduction of the share capital of Northam by way of a repayment of share premium, and incorporating:

  • a notice of general meeting of shareholders; and
  • a form of proxy

SA Platinum Producers to Jointly Fund Safety Driven Research and Development

Leading platinum producers, Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin Platinum and Northam Platinum, together with the CSIR are pleased to announce two independent jointly funded research ventures.


Leading platinum producers, Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin Platinum and Northam Platinum, together with the CSIR are pleased to announce two independent jointly funded research ventures to address some of the South African platinum mining industry's common technological challenges. These ventures are aimed primarily at ensuring that the underground working environment is safe and efficient.

The first of the two ventures is known as PlatTech. PlatTech focuses on the development of new mining methods and novel approaches to address common challenges associated with mechanisation. Furthermore, through this mechanism each producer will better utilise the benefits of their individual research and development (R&D) budgets.

The second venture is known as PlatMine and includes the four platinum producers in association with the CSIR. The primary objective of PlatMine will be the long-term sustainability of the platinum industry in South Africa through research of technologies and competencies to ensure overall safety and health in the platinum industry.

The two ventures represent a breakthrough in the South African platinum industry regarding R&D, and aim to ensure that carefully selected research projects are fast-tracked to the benefit of the participants. The R&D projects will be subject to the usual confidentiality agreements and parties will jointly communicate progress when appropriate.

The total research expenditure for 2003 is expected to be R10m, 70% of which will be funded equally by the Platinum Producers and 30% funded by CSIR Miningtek.

An executive committee comprising members from each participating party will provide strategic direction, which will be co-ordinated by a programme manager. This will in turn be supported by a steering committee, which will deliver expert technical advice, assessment and evaluation of all projects and proposals for PlatTech and PlatMine.

Smelter Successfully Commissioned

On-mine smelter has been successfully commissioned.


The management of Northam Platinum Limited is pleased to advise that its on-mine smelter has been successfully commissioned, on schedule, following the planned smelter shutdown and furnace rebuild which commenced at the beginning of the calendar year.

Capital Reduction

Shareholders are advised that the board of directors of the company has proposed a cash distribution of 20 cents per ordinary share in the issued share capital of the company by way of a reduction of the company’s share premium account.


Introduction

Shareholders are advised that the board of directors of the company has proposed a cash distribution of 20 cents per ordinary share in the issued share capital of the company by way of a reduction of the company’s share premium account (“the distribution”). The company has cashresources in excess of its needs and the directors have therefore resolved to return part of these funds to the company’s shareholders.

Salient dates relative to the distribution

The distribution will be paid on Monday, 12 May 2003 to those shareholders of the company who are recorded in the register on Friday, 9 May 2003 (“the record date”).

To comply with the procedures of STRATE the last day to trade (cum the distribution) in the company’s shares for purposes of entitlement to the distribution is Friday, 2 May 2003. The shares will commence trading ex the distribution on Monday, 5 May 2003.

Share certificates may not be dematerialised or rematerialised between Monday, 5 May 2003 and Friday, 9 May 2003, both days inclusive.

Condition precedent

The distribution is conditional upon the approval of the company’s shareholders in general meeting.

Documentation

A circular dealing with the distribution, including a notice convening a general meeting to be held on or about Wednesday, 16 April 2003, which is subject to the approval of the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa, will be posted to shareholders on or about Thursday, 27 March 2003.

Sterling Performance for Northam, says Chairman Sexwale

Northam Platinum today reported a 64% rise in headline earnings to R207 million for the six month period ended December 2002.


Company shrugs off the effects of surging SA currency

Strong operational performance at SA’s premier platinum empowerment player

Northam Platinum today reported a 64% rise in headline earnings to R207 million for the six month period ended December 2002 (December 2001: R127 million), shrugging off the effects of a stronger rand.

This result was achieved on the back of a 706 kg (22 700 ounces) hike in sales volumes which, in turn, contributed to a 28% increase in turnover to R854 million. With this excellent performance, the board has declared an interim dividend of 90 cents to shareholders, some 29% higher than in the previous corresponding reporting period.

Metals in concentrate (3PGEs + Au) produced for the six months ended December 2002 amounted to 5205 kg (167 348 ounces), an increase of 35% over the 3867 kg reported in December 2001. When stripping out the effect of the strike in the previous financial year, this result still demonstrates an excellent performance, meeting internal production targets and reflecting the increased mining flexibility. This is illustrated by the Merensky ore reserve position having improved by 50% from an availability of 12 months in December 2001 to 18 months in the current reporting period. All indications are there that the Merensky ore reserve position is on track to meet the target of 24 months in November this year. The UG2 ore reserves are also progressing according to plan.

Commenting on the results, Chairman Tokyo Sexwale said today, “This has been a sterling performance for Northam. Apart from making a remarkable recovery after the crippling strike in the previous financial year, there has been further consolidation in the area of safety, as evidenced by the achievement of 2 million fatality-free shifts in September last year.”

General Manager Glyn Lewis added, “Higher production and sales volumes went a long way towards offsetting the effects of the stronger rand. In US dollar terms metal prices were mixed over the period, marked by significant declines in the prices of palladium and rhodium on the one hand, and on the other by a sharply rising platinum price. The net effect of this was that the average metal price realised was only 7% higher, at R158 289/kg.”

Cost of sales were higher In line with the higher production and sales volumes. Unit cash costs were 8% lower, however, declining from US$318/oz to US$292/oz, reflecting the effects of the stringent cost control programme.

Looking forward, Sexwale noted that these very good results would add to Northam’s continued ability to deliver value to shareholders.