Aquarius 'working hard through difficult times'

Aquarius was “working hard” through difficult times, reducing costs and capital expenditure to improve profitability and cash flows, the platinum miner said on Wednesday.

“The declines in the platinum group metals [PGM] basket price resulting from a difficult global environment along with the implications of the Everest suspension have significantly impacted the company,” CEO Stuart Murray said.

The company’s Everest mine in Mpumalanga was temporarily suspended “following early detection of subsidence events”.

The company’s net loss of $70,1-million (US 25,1 cents per share), was impacted by a one-off charge of $16,8-million on Everest suspension costs, it said.

Production dropped 6% to 260 208 PGM ounces, mainly due to conditions at the Everest mine.

Aquarius trimmed its 2009 production target by 100 000 PGM ounces to 475 000 PGM ounces, partly as a result of Everest’s suspension.—Sapa

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