Announcements 2013

Northam’s Zondereinde mine smelter

Shareholders are informed that energy intensity at the Zondereinde mine smelter has been reduced from a maximum of 12 megawatts to a current average of 8 megawatts.


Shareholders are informed that energy intensity at the Zondereinde mine smelter has been reduced from a maximum of 12 megawatts to a current average of 8 megawatts.

This reduction has been implemented to accommodate a series of ultrasonic and chemical tests to determine the extent of possible erosion of the refractory bricks comprising the walls of the smelter.

These tests will necessitate a reduction in the volume of concentrate treated in the smelter. Receipt of concentrate produced by Platmin Limited has been temporarily suspended. Captive concentrate produced in excess of the reduced capacity of the smelter will if necessary be treated at smelters operated by others on a toll basis.

Shareholders will be informed of the results of the tests as soon as they become available.

Johannesburg
16 May 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Update on the sale of Booysendal South

Northam confirms that the termination date for the fulfillment of certain of the conditions precedent to the implementation of the sale of Booysendal South to Aquarius Platinum Proprietary Limited, a subsidiary of Aquarius Platinum Limited expired on 30 April 2013.


Northam confirms that the termination date for the fulfillment of certain of the conditions precedent to the implementation of the sale of Booysendal South to Aquarius Platinum (South Africa) Proprietary Limited, a subsidiary of Aquarius Platinum Limited (‘Aquarius’) expired on 30 April 2013.

These conditions included the amendments of the relevant mining rights to effect the transfer of Booysendal South to Aquarius in terms of Section 102 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

Booysendal South is important to the development of Aquarius’ Everest Mine. Accordingly, Northam has been advised by Aquarius that it will remain in contact with the Department of Mineral Resources and Northam in connection with the proposed transaction.

Johannesburg
2 May 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Operations resume at Northam’s Zondereinde mine

Northam management confirms that drilling operations resumed at Zondereinde this morning Tuesday, 23 April 2013.


Northam management confirms that drilling operations resumed at Zondereinde this morning Tuesday, 23 April 2013. This follows an agreement between management and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday, Monday, 22 April 2013.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two parties provides for the payment of ‘return to work’ compensation comprising a once off ex gratia payment equivalent to 50% of their basic wages for the duration of the strike period and R2 000.

Total production losses amount to 16 000oz 3PGE+Au with a current value of approximately R192 million.

Johannesburg
23 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Unprotected work stoppage at Zondereinde continues

The management of Northam advises that the unprotected work stoppage at the Zondereinde mine continues.


The management of Northam advises that the unprotected work stoppage by the rock drill operators at the Zondereinde mine continues. An independent review of the application of the productivity bonus scheme at the Zondereinde mine has been completed. Talks with union representatives will continue today with the intention of bringing the matter to a close.

Losses to date approximate 12 500oz (3PGE+Au) in production and R143 million in revenue.

Johannesburg
17 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Update on interruption in production at Northam’s Zondereinde mine

Northam advises that management continues to engage with representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers at national and regional level in an effort to resolve the impasse between the mine and striking rock drill operators regarding the methodology of bonus payments.


Northam advises that the unprotected work stoppage at the company’s Zondereinde mine continued today, Monday 15 April 2013.

In an effort to resolve the impasse with striking rock drill operators, management has continued to engage with representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at national and regional level. The parties and the union have agreed on a review of the application of the mine’s productivity bonus system.

In terms of a Labour Court interdict the current work stoppage at Zondereinde is unprotected. Employees are urged to return to work, and to engage through the established and agreed dispute resolution procedures. Employees have been reminded that failure to heed the terms of the interdict could lead to dismissals.

To date, Northam has lost around 10 600 ounces of 3PGM + Au and around R122.1 million in revenues.

Shareholders will be kept informed of further developments.

Johannesburg
15 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Update on interruption in production at Northam’s Zondereinde mine

Northam advises that it has obtained an interdict from the labour court which rules that the current work stoppage at Zondereinde is unprotected, and directs affected employees to resume their normal duties.


Further to the notices to shareholders issued on Friday 5 April and on Tuesday 9 April 2013, Northam advises that it has obtained an interdict from the labour court which rules that the current work stoppage at Zondereinde is unprotected, and directs affected employees to resume their normal duties. Employees were served with the court order yesterday, Wednesday 10 April 2013.

By this morning, Thursday 11 April 2013 employees had still not resumed their normal operations.

Management is trying to secure a meeting with the senior structures of the NUM, and welcomes any further talks at an operational level. The dismissal of employees is a very last resort and follows management’s various appeals to the disaffected employees to resume their normal duties and to use the dispute resolution procedures which are available to them.

Shareholders will be kept informed of further developments.

Johannesburg
11 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Northam Platinum announcement - Zondereinde update

Further to the notice to shareholders issued on Friday 5 April 2013, Northam advises that striking rock drill operators at Zondereinde have failed to resume their duties in spite of an ultimatum issued to them before close of business on Monday 8 April 2013.


Further to the notice to shareholders issued on Friday 5 April 2013, Northam advises that striking rock drill operators at Zondereinde have failed to resume their duties in spite of an ultimatum issued to them before close of business on Monday 8 April 2013. The company will now follow due process which could result in the dismissal of the affected employees.

The protracted interruption in drilling operations has a detrimental effect on underground working conditions, which could pose a safety risk, and which will deteriorate further if normal operations are not resumed expeditiously. A total of 165kg (5 300 ounces) of metal in concentrate has now been lost, with revenue losses amounting to R62.7 million.

Shareholders will be kept informed of further developments.

Johannesburg
9 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Interruption in production at Northam’s Zondereinde mine

Northam advises its shareholders that production at Zondereinde has been interrupted since Tuesday, 2 April 2013.


Northam advises its shareholders that production at Zondereinde has been interrupted since Tuesday, 2 April 2013. An estimated 120kg (3 900 ounces) of metal in concentrate (3PGM+Au) production has been lost, translating into revenue losses of approximately R46.2 million.

The interruption was caused by Zondereinde’s rock drill operators who are refusing to drill while underground. Zondereinde’s management team has constituted a consultative forum and is engaging with employee representatives in an attempt to resume operations as soon as possible.

The Company shall continue to inform its shareholders of further developments in this regard.

Johannesburg
5 April 2013

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924

Interest rate reset announcement

Noteholders are hereby advised of the interest rate reset on the following Note.


Noteholders are hereby advised of the interest rate reset on the following Note:

NHM001 8.600% p.a. (350bps above 3 month Jibar of 5.100%) for the period 4 March 2013 to 3 June 2013, payable on 4 June 2013 (Modified Following*)
  Next reset: 4 June 2013

JIBAR rates as at 4 March 2013: 3 Month 5.100%

*When the Interest Payment Date falls on a non-business day, one of the following business day conventions will be applied, as specified for each individual bond in its applicable pricing supplement:

  1. Following: Means interest will be paid on the first business day after the weekend or public holiday.
  2. Modified Following: Means interest will be paid on the first business day after the weekend or public holiday. However, if the first business day after the weekend or public holiday falls in a new calendar month, interest will then be paid on the last business day before the weekend / public holiday.
  3. Preceding: Means interest will be paid on the last business day before the weekend or public holiday.

6 March 2013

Debt Sponsor
One Capital

Sustained operational recovery at Zondereinde mine

Northam Platinum has issued its half-year results for the period ended 31 December 2012 today, Friday 22 February 2013.


Northam earnings impacted by tax and finance charges

Johannesburg, Friday 22 February 2013. Northam Platinum has issued its half-year results for the period ended 31 December 2012 today, Friday 22 February 2013.

Key features from the results:

  • Sustained operational recovery at Zondereinde
  • Production 6.5% higher at 157 1830z
  • Metal sales 4.4% higher at 177 655oz
  • 4% drop in operating cost to R1 339/tonne milled
  • Cash cost increases contained to 5.7% at R289 156/kg
  • 21% increase in operating profit
  • R1.25 billion successfully raised in domestic capital markets
  • Power supply being installed at Booysendal
  • Commissioning on track
  • Earnings impacted by tax and finance charges

Results for the six months ended 31 December 2012 (PDF - 275KB)

A solid operational performance at the Zondereinde mine resulted in a 6.5% rise in the production of metals in concentrate to 4 889kg (157 183oz). Metal sales were higher also at 5 526kg (177 655oz). The higher sales volumes, combined with a marginal uptick in the rand basket price (3.7% higher year on year at R354 385) contributed to the sales revenues of R2.2 billion, 12% higher year on year.

Higher operating and refining costs drove the cost of sales higher. Total operating costs at R1.4 billion reflect the higher volumes and the effects of mining inflation, impacted particularly by labour and power costs. Overall costs were well contained, and the increase in unit cash costs was kept to a creditable 5.7% at R289 516/kg.

The overall improvement in performance resulted in an operating profit of R266 million, 20.6% higher year on year. Earnings however, declined to 35.6 cents per share (H1 F2012: 51.8 cents), reflecting the impact of increased tax on the one hand, a decline in investment revenues emanating from the drawdown of cash to fund the intensive capex programme ahead of the Booysendal commissioning, and the finance charges associated with the credit facilities secured.

For the first time in Northam’s life it is carrying debt on the balance sheet, a function of the company’s expansion. The total debt facilities available to the company amount to R2.25 billion. At the end of the reporting period Northam’s net debt position was R631.1 million.

Given the cash requirements of the continued development at Booysendal, along with the uncertainty prevailing in the mining sector, the interim dividend has been passed.

Zondereinde – a sustained recovery

The key to Zondereinde’s improved performance lies in the absence of mine-wide safety stoppages during the period which allowed mining crews to achieve better than average face advances. Tonnes milled on the Merensky reef improved by 19%, and overall milled tonnages were 15.1% higher at 1.2 million tonnes. Grades were largely unchanged and production of metal in concentrates was 6.5% higher at 4 889kg (157 183oz).

After a run-out at the furnace in May 2012, the smelter was shut down for a rebuild, and was recommissioned by the end of September 2012.

Mining conditions are likely to continue to be impacted by poor ground conditions, particularly on the Merensky reef in the north-west quadrant of the mine. Steady progress continues to be made with the deepening project, with decline infrastructure being installed and stoping from 15 level expected to start in the latter half of F2013.

Booysendal – solid progress

The construction of the plant at Booysendal has been completed, and there has also been partial cold commissioning of smaller equipment in the plant using the limited power available from Mototolo. Good progress has also been made with the tailings dam. However, key to completing the cold and then hot commissioning of the plant, anticipated by then end of Q4, is the availability of a permanent power supply.

By the end of December 2012 the stockpile had grown to 320 000 tonnes containing approximately 25 000 oz, 6 500 metres of development had been completed and a total of 14 000m2 had been stoped.

Outlook

The platinum industry is likely to be dominated by continued uncertainty in the foreseeable future. In the absence of disruptions to operations in the second half of the year the company hopes to deliver an improved operational performance compared to F2012. In turn the financial results will be informed by the operational performance, along with the impact of metal prices and inflation.

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 11 880 3924