Announcements 2022

Total refined metal production 9.7% higher year on year

Northam Platinum Holdings Limited (Northam Holdings) today reported results for the 2022 financial year (F2022). The full suite of year-end reports is available on the Northam website at

Key developments in the year:

  • Significant value creation attributable to the conclusion of the Composite Transaction
  • Number of shares in issue lower by 22.2%
  • Normalised HEPS 20.7% higher at 2 573 cents
  • Growth strategy unfolds with acquisition of a strategic holding in RBPlat
  • Organic growth projects remain on track
  • Solid operational and financial performance
  • Net Debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.97


  • Unit cash costs higher by 18.9%
  • Global above-inflation cost environment
  • Lower 4E metal prices put pressure on margins
  • Safety setback at Zondereinde with two fatalities in the year
  • Booysendal reports decline in production owing to eastern limb community unrest and lower ore grades



2022 2021 Variance

Mill throughput (tonnes)

  8 660 083 8 145 457 6.3%

Equivalent refined metal production from own operations (oz 4E)

716 488 690 867 3.7%

Total refined metal production (oz 4E)

719 580 655 741 9.7%

Cash cost/refined Pt oz (ZAR/Pt oz)

34 069 28 662 (18.9%)

Operating profit (ZAR)

14.9 billion 16.1 billion (7.6%)


Equivalent refined metal from own operations increased marginally to 716 488 oz 4E. Zondereinde recorded improved production during the second half of the financial year, whilst production growth from the Booysendal South mine was in line with the forecast.

The challenging operating environment at both Zondereinde and Booysendal was a dominant feature of the year:   

  • Zondereinde tragically suffered two mining-related fatalities, together with increased medical absences relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • At Booysendal the ongoing regional community unrest in the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex resulted in lost production shifts, and the intersection of a lower grade reef package at North mine led to declines in concentrator feed grades

Nevertheless, the group’s growth projects remain on track with the Western extension at Zondereinde and the South mine at Booysendal making solid progress, and Booysendal’s fatality-free safety record remains intact. Eland continues its ramp-up, with Maroelabult adding considerable synergistic benefits.

The development of Booysendal South is progressing well despite work stoppages due to community unrest in the region. Underground development and stoping ramp-up at the Central UG2 modules is progressing and decline development at the South Merensky module is on track. Underground stoping has commenced at the BS4 UG2 module and will ramp-up over the coming 12 months. The North aerial rope conveyor was commissioned in December 2021 and is operating within design parameters.

At Eland mine, processing of ore from surface sources continues, whilst underground and open pit feed are being batch treated. Development of the Kukama decline system has progressed well, as has strike development to connect with the Maroelabult mine. Underground stoping ramp-up is in progress. In addition, open-pit mining of UG2 started in the eastern portion of the mining right during the first quarter.

With significant cost increases at all the operations, unit cash costs per equivalent refined platinum ounce increased by 18.9% to R34 069/Pt oz.

Capital expenditure grew by 37.2% to R4.6 billion reflecting the progress in our expansionary projects. Speaking to the investment community today chief executive Paul Dunne said; “We plan significant ongoing activity at the Western extension of Zondereinde, as well as at Eland over the coming two years. Consequently, group capital expenditure for the coming financial year is forecast to reach R5.4 billion.

“A raft of global geopolitical issues hold the potential for further disruption to the metal markets, whilst ongoing regional community unrest in the eastern Bushveld and the lingering effects of COVID-19 on our workforce could lead to operational disruption. We continue to monitor the market and the societal landscape and will amend our capital program when and where prudent,” Dunne said.

Along with the ongoing work at the Western extension at Zondereinde, upgrades to the material handling infrastructure at the metallurgical facilities together with the planned rebuild of furnace 1 were completed, and capacity upgrades at the base metal removal plant are in progress.

Work has started on the development of a 11 MW solar power farm to provide electricity to the metallurgical complex. The design and permitting phases have been concluded and earthworks are in progress.

With recycling, we maintain our measured approach.  A dedicated smelter circuit to treat recycling material at the Zondereinde facility was commissioned in May 2022, enhancing our ability to treat high grade recycling products from various sources.

Corporate developments:

Strategically, the year under review has been significant for Northam.

With the implementation of the Composite Transaction during the year, the maturity of the Zambezi BEE Transaction was accelerated, providing a number of strategic outcomes to position the group for the next phase of development. The introduction of Northam Holdings as the new listed entity provides the group with flexibility to undertake future transactions. This was achieved by way of a share exchange implemented on a one for one basis in terms of which Northam shareholders exchanged their Northam Platinum shares for Northam Holdings shares.

In addition, the acquisition of a 34.52% shareholding in Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited (RBPlat) aligns with our long-term growth, sustainability and operational diversification strategy. The consequent introduction of Royal Bafokeng Investment Holding Company Proprietary Limited (RBIH) as a significant shareholder in Northam Holdings further strengthens the group’s empowerment credentials.

This acquisition holds potential for substantial long-term value creation. It further provides inherent optionality. The complementary metals mix of RBPlat, with a higher relative platinum contribution, fits well within the broader Northam metals basket. The RBPlat assets are young, shallow and well capitalised and occupy a strategically important position in the Western Bushveld. We recognise the Royal Bafokeng Nation’s important contribution and ongoing legacy in respect of RBPlat and are cognisant of our responsibility in respect of the long-term sustainability of RBPlat’s operations and its impact on the broader communities and the Royal Bafokeng Nation as a whole.

The current position in the commodity cycle indicates that the acquisition of long-life, cash generative, producing assets with further growth potential, offers the most compelling value. Our investment in RBPlat is aligned with these investment requirements.

Financial results

Results for the year were adversely affected by lower metal prices and the above-inflationary cost environment, offsetting the 12.8% growth in sales volumes. Operating profits fell by 7.6% to R14.9 billion, attributable to the increase in cost of sales.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was only marginally lower at R16.5 billion (F2021: R16.7 billion).

The group generated cash flows from operating activities of R11.4 billion during F2022. Northam invested R8.4 billion in the Composite Transaction and a further R8.4 billion in the RBPlat acquisition. This, together with, inter alia, our ongoing investment in expansionary capital expenditure resulted in Net Debt increasing to R16.0 billion, including the deferred portion of the purchase consideration relating to the acquisition of the RBPlat shares, amounting to R1.7 billion as at 30 June 2022.

Commenting on the group’s debt position, chief financial officer Alet Coetzee reiterated: “Northam is comfortable with a self-imposed long-term Net Debt to EBITDA ratio of 1 to 1 in the pursuance of the group’s growth strategy. At year end the debt ratio was 0.97, falling within our self-imposed target. ”

To illustrate the context, Coetzee pointed to the Net Debt which approximates the value of Northam’s 34.52% investment in RBPlat, which is a liquid asset, and the c. R18.8 billion value of the 4E inventory at year-end.

The group’s share of earnings from RBPlat amounted to R777.0 million. A dividend of R536.2 million was declared and received in respect of Northam’s shareholding in RBPlat. In addition, subsequent to year end a further dividend of R245.5 million was declared in respect of Northam’s shareholding in RBPlat.

Prospects for the year ahead
Looking to the future Dunne pointed to the three UG2 mining modules at Booysendal South being commissioned and engineered and contributing to the group production forecast in a range of 770 000 to 810 000 oz 4E, with capital forecast at R5.4 billion in 2023.

At the same time, Dunne cautioned that the following key factors would be critical in impacting future financial results:

  • Group safety performance and health and wellness of our employees
  • Growth strategy delivery
  • The results of our project execution phases
  • The success of developing optionality in the market

R&A Strategic Communications, Johannesburg, Tel +27 (0)11 880 3924

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