Thursday, February 17, 2011

Implats Revenue Up On Metal Prices, Zimbabwe On Track

By Devon Maylie
Published February 17, 2011

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP.JO), the world's second-largest producer of the metal, Thursday reported a rise in net profit for the first half of fiscal 2011 due mainly to increased volumes and stronger dollar metal prices, and said it's on track with its expansion project in Zimbabwe.

Impala reiterated that it plans to produce 1.85 million troy ounces of platinum in 2011 with 940,000 ounces of that coming from the South Africa-based Rustenburg mine.

Output in the first half of the year rose 6% to 952,000 ounces, the Johannesburg-based miner said Thursday.

The miner said output at its majority-owned Zimplats Holdings Ltd. (ZIM.AU) rose by 9% to 89,000 ounces. The first phase of the expansion project at the Zimbabwe-focused company was completed and the second phase is underway, chief executive David Brown said.
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The miner is holding discussions with the Zimbabwe government over how Impala will address the new law that requires companies to sell a 51% stake to locals.

"We are encouraged that government wants a dialogue with us given we are a major employer," Brown said. "Once we get clarity we will know how to expand further. Phase Three needs that clarity."

Impala Platinum said demand for platinum and palladium will remain strong and it forecasts the price of palladium to exceed $1,000/oz beyond 2012. For this year, it expects platinum to trade between $1,725/oz and $1,925/oz. It sees palladium between $775/oz and 950/oz and rhodium between $2,250/oz and $2,600/oz.

South Africa produces about two third of global platinum output a year. Prices on the spot market are currently trading around $1,823.25/oz and palladium is at $833.50/oz.

Impala Platinum revenue for the first half of fiscal 2011 of 15.32 billion rand compared to 11.12 billion the year before. Capital expenditure for the half year totaled ZAR2.4 billion, compared to ZAR2.2 billion in the previous half year.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

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