JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Taking into consideration the declining basket price, the uncertain demand fundamentals, global recession fears and the continuing uncertainty brought about by the M&A activity, the board of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) decided to adopt a conservative approach in declaring the interim dividend. The board declared an interim gross cash dividend of 245c a share, equating to R711-million.
The dividend was declared from retained earnings and will be subject to a dividend withholding tax of 20% for all shareholders who are not exempt from or do not qualify for a reduced rate of withholding tax, JSE-listed RBPlat stated in a release to Mining Weekly.
The net dividend payable to shareholders subject to the withholding tax at a rate of 20% amounts to 196c an ordinary share on a 4.5% increase in four-element (4E) ounces to 225 500 oz and a 15.2% increase in cash cost per 4E ounce to R19 183/oz compared with last year’s R16 649/oz.
The company reported a 31.0% improvement in serious injury frequency rate, 38.1% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or Ebitda, to R3 406.1-million, compared with R5 499.1-million in the corresponding period of last year.
The first half of 2022 was characterised by uncertainty and geopolitical tensions as Russia invaded Ukraine. This led to the palladium price reaching a record high in the first quarter of the year, however, platinum group metal prices have since come down as Russia continues to supply palladium to the market.
The war in Ukraine has affected global supply chains resulting in inflationary cost pressures impacting profit margins and raising fears of a global recession. The Covid-19 lockdown in China further exacerbated existing supply chain challenges.
After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, all indications show it is now under control. Its dedication towards health and wellness in order to maintain a safe work environment has resulted in 94% of RBPlat employees being fully vaccinated. This resulted in limited exposure to the impact of the fifth wave of Covid-19.
Although all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the company is still encouraging its employees to continue taking the necessary safety precautions as South Africa moves towards returning to normality.
RBPlat’s continued commitment towards putting the health and safety of its people first through proactive safety initiatives resulted in a safety milestone of achieving 3 000 000 fatality-free shifts on July 3. Lost time injury frequency rate improved by 32.5% and serious injury frequency rate by 31.0%, but with an 8.7% deterioration in the total injury frequency rate.
Total reef tonnes hoisted increased by 8.1% to 2 333 000 t, tonnes milled by 6.7% to 2 304 000 t and 4E metals in concentrate by 4.5% to 225 500 oz. Notwithstanding these reported increases, this overall production was not in line with operational expectations.
Performance was hampered by an increase in the number of Section 54 stoppages, Eskom electricity supply interruptions and constraints in achieving steady state production volumes at Styldrift.
Operational teams have remained focused on improving efficiencies and embedding the operational maturity required to sustainably secure a cost-effective and high-quality production performance in alignment with the company’s 2022 roadmap.
Environmental, social and governance commitments are central to the company’s “more than mining” philosophy of conducting business in a sustainable manner that has a positive impact on employees, community and the environment.