Lonmin’s December sales sink

Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, on Thursday reported platinum sales of 126 202 ounces in the quarter to end December 2008.

This is 13,3% lower than the 145 611 ounces sold in the same quarter of 2007.

Making up the first quarter of Lonmin’s 2009 financial year, the December quarter saw the company initiate restructuring programmes at its Marikana and Limpopo operations, where it remains in consultation with representative unions.

“The platinum group metals [PGM] pricing environment during the first quarter of the 2009 financial year remained challenging and the short-term outlook for PGM pricing continues to be difficult to predict,” Lonmin said in a statement to the JSE.

But it said it remained committed to its sales and cost guidance for the 2009 financial year (FY).

Lonmin said in November it was targeting FY09 sales of the same magnitude to those achieved in FY08.

The platinum producer reported sales of 726 918 ounces for FY08. This was despite the company’s decision to suspend its opencast operations from the end of last year as it scaled back on unprofitable ounces.

Lonmin’s opencast operations contributed about 60 000 ounces to the company’s total FY08 sales.

As a result of the winding down of its opencast operations at Marikana, total tonnes mined during the December quarter were flat on the same period in 2008 at 3,1 million.

But the company said its core underground mining operations at Marikana produced 2,7 million tonnes during the first quarter of 2009 — 8% ahead of the same period in 2008.

Concentrators produced a total of 173 232 saleable ounces of platinum in concentrate for the quarter — a 9% decrease from the first quarter of 2008, while refined production was 132 935 ounces of platinum and 243 818 ounces of total PGMs — a decrease of 14% and 12% respectively from the first quarter of 2008.

Lonmin said it would provide an update on its restructuring programmes at its interim results in May. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Marikana murder trial resumes

The eight-year battle for justice played out its next round in the Mahikeng high court this week

Unethical businesses will face people’s protest

Companies must behave like model democratic citizens if they are to earn and retain society’s social licence to operate

Lest we forget: Marikana’s fallen

We must remember the 44 people killed and 78 injured in main part to prevent such actions being repeated

South Africa has huge ‘green fuels’ potential. But it needs to act now

South Africa needs to seriously start thinking about shifting its energy focus. This is for two reasons. The first is that the country’s important...

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

Citizens ache for new form of politics

Talking about a revolution is fitting given the state’s performance over the past 25 years

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

WSU suspends classes and exams to avoid the spread of...

The university says it has to take the precautionary measures because 26 students have tested positive on its East London campus

Entrepreneurs strike Covid gold

Some enterprising people found ways for their ventures to survive the strictest lockdown levels

Ithala backs its embattled chairperson

Roshan Morar is being investigated in connection with KwaZulu-Natal education department backpack sanitiser tender worth R4-million and a batch of face masks that vanished

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza: Liberating Africa from land of liberté

The cultural and political activist is on a quest to bring looted treasures back home

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday